US Grand Priory Commander of Merit Chaker Kazal keynote Speaker at Trust Conference (June 2016)
The prestigious Global Trust Conference is committed to finding real solutions to fight modern-day slavery and solve human rights issues worldwide. An initiative by the Thompson Reuters Foundation, the Global Trust Conference delegates take action and forge tangible commitments to empower women worldwide and to fight modern-day slavery. At each conference, inspiring and entrepreneurial thought leaders propose innovative solutions to address the conference themes. We are indeed proud that one of this year's keynote speakers is one of our very own, Confrere Chaker Kazal.
Born in 1987 to second-generation Palestinian parents, Chaker Khazaal - uthor, speaker, reporter, and Huffington Post contributor - grew up in Bourj el-Barajneh refugee camp, in his host country Lebanon, during the Lebanese Civil War.
With patience, persistence and a sense of hope, he applied for a university scholarship in any country he was allowed to enter while holding a Travel Document for Palestinian Refugees. When Canada reached out, it set in motion a chain of events beyond his wildest imagination.
At seventeen years of age, he was honored with the prestigious Global Leader of Tomorrow Award from Toronto's York University, acknowledging his strong academic standing and leadership skills.
Having experienced first-hand the humiliation of 'displacement', Chaker is a strong advocate for refugees, and aspiring writers from all countries. Not one to forget his heritage, he has traveled to camps throughout the Middle East, speaking to refugees living in conflict zones. Expanding awareness through education and subsequent employment for refugees, his novels and articles humanize external conflicts. He enjoys capitalizing on strategic opportunities. "Work hard and where you once felt displaced, take the time to explore avenues that make you feel welcome."