I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
OLIP helps to unite and share scarce resources for greater impact by working together in the field of student education.

Walter Piovesan
Associate Director of Education, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee
The work and expertise that OLIP brings to our community is so important as it helps us to build bridges and break down silos.  I look forward to our continued work together. 

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. WOW offers a platform for us to celebrate this history and the future it will help…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
In our city’s history, immigrants have always played an important role. They build our economic prosperity, diversify our culture, contribute to our social vitality.

Jim Watson
Mayor of Ottawa
We are very pleased to have done the “Opportunity Cost of Not Investing in Interpretation” report – it is so important to have clarity on these challenges and…

Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP
The City of Ottawa will continue to play a lead role in the implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy, just as we did in the founding of OLIP.

Steve Desroches
City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa
All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa

An angel of welcome

June 14, 2018

When Hanan Abu-Laban, a charity director at the Ottawa Muslim Association, read a story about a woman in need on a local WhatsApp group, she knew she had to find a way to help her.

Hanan Abu-Laban

Hanan, a Community Affairs and Charity Director at the Ottawa Muslim Association, has dealt with similar cases in the past. Over the last 15 years, she has devoted her time in Ottawa to assist struggling newcomers and established residents find their place in the community. Her community work has often focused on helping vulnerable families and single mother households to find the services they require, often to meet their most basic needs.

For Houda, Hanan was much more than that. “Hanan was like an angel to me,” says Houda Amine, a single mother of three. “I was crying and I had no one to help me until Hanan came forward and gave my life joy again through her generosity and support. I will never forget this woman until I die!”

“I knew Houda was alone, so I did a quick plan to move her closer to our community in Ottawa, so we could provide her with all support needed to make her new life better,” explains Hanan.

In many ways, Hanan became the advocate that Houda needed. Houda has three very active young sons, one who experiences constant seizures. Hanan helped her find schools, daycare and specialized services for her sons.

“She is a good leader, role model and is capable of doing quick and efficient plans,” adds Houda. “Hanan gives me parenting advice and she helps me to find the resources for each of my challenges. I would like to thank Hanan and the Muslim community for the solidarity and always being there for me and my children.”

For Hanan her motivation is simple. “I have a passion for helping people. The reward is seeing a smile on someone’s face.”