Taste of the Middle East
A multifaceted not-for-profit organization.
Creating connections through music, art, cuisine and culture. We believe that inclusivity strengthens communities and diversity is a pillar to any culture.
Warmth and generosity are the bedrock of Middle Eastern culture. Food and music are the foundation of our hospitality. Taste of the Middle East is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization with a mission to create unique and unforgettable experiences celebrating the Middle Eastern culture, art, music and cuisine while adding to the diversity of Toronto!
Hamsa Diab Farhat
Festival Director and Producer
Hamsa is the Founder and Event Producer for Taste of the Middle East 2018. Hamsa is also the owner of Consider It Done Events & Marketing. She holds a business marketing diploma from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. She is an efficient and creative professional with a “Can Do” attitude, focused on the coordination and execution of successful events and marketing projects. Hamsa chose the Middle Eastern Community, as her niche market, where she saw an opportunity to help push her business forward. As an entrepreneur, Hamsa is committed to self improvement through volunteering and education. Hamsa serves on the Event Management Committee for The World Lebanese Cultural Union. Hamsa also serves on the Board of Directors of IDRF, The International Development and Relief Foundation, a renowned Canadian charity that helps to empower the world’s disadvantaged people. A passionate, dedicated and committed, participant to charity work and to her business, Hamsa has taken that same passion and enthusiasm and channeled it towards Middle Eastern food. Her hamsafoodie instagram has become a powerful platform to showcase a variety of Middle Eastern restaurants in Toronto. With a modest following, she strives for continuous improvement, with the goal of becoming an influencer in the Middle Eastern food industry through food blogging and restaurant events. A dedicated mother of two boys, Hamsa is as equally committed to her family and the education of her children as she is to her career.
Director of Operations
As Enterprise’s public relations project manager, Courtney guides successful events and festivals, functioning flawlessly anywhere from behind the scenes to greeting people with a smile at the front door. Courtney’s philosophy is that proper preparation is crucial to ensuring events run smoothly. She extends that perspective throughout her other projects at Enterprise, including public relations, media relations, content marketing and digital media campaigns.
“Public relations and communications is all about narrative. I’m driven to stay innovative in an industry that is evolving daily by developing and creating unique narratives for our clients that are memorable and newsworthy.”
Nevein Gamal Gamaleldin
Ali Al Lami
Ali Kheir Eddine
Ali & Dean Farhat
Lina Duque holds an MBA from Ivey Business School. She is a social media strategist, university lecturer and international speaker and moderator. Her analysis has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Forbes and the Globe and Mail. She is a sought-after advisor to C-suite executives, business leaders and academics on developing thought leadership through creating a strong and strategic digital presence. Lina is a frequent speaker on social media, personal branding and women’s empowerment. Her speaking portfolio includes Harvard University, McGill University, University of Toronto, York University, Lean In Canada, Ellevate Network and the World Communication Forum Davos (Geneva and Istanbul).
Mentor with The OpEd Project, helping bring a diversity of voices into the media. Advisor with the DMZ at Ryerson University, providing insights to entrepreneurs on social media strategy. Member of the planning committee of 2014 ROM PROM, an annual fundraising gala for the ROM attended by over 1000 people. Chair of the Arabic Arts Steering Committee of the Luminato Festival in 2010. Website LinaDuqueConsulting.com or Twitter
Lara is a physician, bioethicist, global health scholar, and health promoter, specialized in community engagement, and refugee health issues. In addition to the MD degree from the American University of Beirut, she holds a PhD and MHSc from the University of Toronto, and has extensive experience with public health and non-governmental organizations. Additionally, she is a certified in Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Response.
Lara also held many leadership positions in the Arab community, including:
-Co-founder and Co-Organizer of Supper with Syria
– Advisory Board Member of the Canadian Arabic Orchestra
– Steering committee and founding member of the Canadian Arab Institute
– Vice President, Member of the Executive Board of Directors of the Arab Peace Corps
– Advisory Board Member of Tastakel
Raja G. Khouri
Rita is currently a policy analyst at innovation, science and economic development for the government of Canada. Rita recently obtained a Masters of International Affairs, specializing in International Development Policy. Bringing a young perspective
-United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – Consultant
-United Nations DPI-NGO – Youth Representative
-Youth Assisting Youth Program – Mentor
-Ashoka – Consultant
-The Opeduca Project – Advisor
-Assistance to the Integration of Demobilized Child Soldiers (AIDC) – Advisor
-SOS Children’s Villages Canada -Fundraiser
-Operation Smile – Fundraiser
-Norman Paterson School of International Affairs Students’ Association – Co-President
-WLCU Youth of Canada (WLCUY Canada Chapter) – President and Founder
-Arab Community Centre of Toronto – Board member & current President
-WelcomeHomeTO- co-founder and strategy director
-Professional Canadian Arab Network- co-founder and communications director
-Canadian Arab Orchestra – Advisor
-Ryerson University: Community and social work researcher and partnership lead
-Budz- co-founder and animator for Muslim girls activity group
-Girl Guides- group support assistant
-Jusoor-5th Annual Global Conference & Gala Director
Wafaa Al Zaghal
Aseel El-Baba is an empowered woman fueled by passion to inspire, to motivate, and create an impact in the world. She holds various degrees and certifications in the Financial Planning Industry. She currently manages a portfolio of clients where she helps them with their investments and financial needs. Aseel has her own empowerment podcast called Get Real With Aseel,found on Itunes, Podbean and Youtube. Through her podcast, she publishes weekly episodes where she shares various tips and hacks for self improvement. Aseel is also a public speaker. She has won various competitions and participates in platforms where she shares her life lessons. Aseel is a PCAN board member, an organization that aims to increase community engagements and collaboration in the Canadian Arab Community. Her desire to challenge the status quo and her commitment to serve keeps her busy and active. She is an avid reader, traveler, explorer, challenger and changer.