Mar 212022
 

Peace by Chocolate: The Hadhad Family’s Remarkable Journey from Syria to Canada by Canadian author Jon Tattrie is a wealth of information, emotion and motivation. This book is more than the story of Tareq, the first of his family to escape Syria and arrive in Canada. It’s much more than the tale and woes of his father Isam, successful business and family man in Syria trying to rebuild after he fell from great heights.

Peace by Chocolate, the book, is about the entire family, the community of Antigonish and local success stories, including a mention of Barb Stegemann author of The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen: a Woman’s Guide to Living and Leading in an Illogical World and success story from the same area, and the power of determination, flexibility and acceptance.

Tareq, a young man studying to be a doctor in Syria, had to leave everything behind for a chance at safety. Starting over, without his family or confidence in knowing what would come next. A foreign concept to most Canadians yet so many opened their homes and arms to welcome him, and eventually his family, to be our neighbours. Once settled, or even before that, the Hadhad’s created Peace by Chocolate, a locally and now globally known, brand of chocolate.

Beyond the book, as it sparked a lot of curiousity in me, I have to wonder why we don’t make it easier for new immigrants to follow their international dreams. Tareq, proving himself to be a well-educated, adaptable dreamer who manages to do, to take the right steps and know his truth, seemed to hit so many stumbling blocks here that he diverted to be the spokesman behind the chocolate company. In a rural area where doctors are scarce, and maybe I’m thinking too simply here, it seemed to be a good fit to welcome a man of such high regard and big heart to our community. Not only to create peace by chocolate but healing by medicine. And he is young, maybe it will come, and obviously he and his family are doing great things in many other ways, I just wanted to better understand the decision.

Overall, this is an essential book for anyone who a) loves chocolate, and really, who doesn’t and b) loves humanity and the growth mindset.

In my opinion, and really, that is all my reviews tend to be, Jon Tattrie presented the story of the Hadhad’s in a beautifully respectable way.

What is also amazing is Jon Tattrie will be at River John’s Read By The Sea this year to discuss his book and journey of writing it.

Thanks for reading,
Sarah Butland

*links included are Amazon affiliate links

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