Syrian chocolatier Assam Hadhad makes chocolate as members of the community tour Peace By Chocolate's newly-opened factory in Antigonish, N.S. on Saturday, September 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Before the missiles came and destroyed his family’s chocolate factory in Damascus in early 2013, pretty much the only thing Tareq Hadhad knew about Canada was the little he’d picked up from MTV.
He’d heard of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. He’d heard that Canada was “a nation of diversity.” What the rest of his family — father Isam, mother Shahenaz and four siblings — knew about their future home was the usual.
It “was the coldest country in the world.”
Back then, had you mentioned “Antigonish” to Hadhad, he might have responded with the Arabic equivalent of Bless you!
“I hadn’t heard about Halifax, or Nova Scotia before,” he laughed this week. “So Antigonish was a surprising destination for me. Antigonish is not famous across the world.”
But what a few years it’s been. And what wonderful ambassadors for Antigonish the Hadhad family has become.
On Sept. 9, less than two years after landing in Canada …
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