Four years after arriving in Canada as a Syrian refugee, a well-known Nova Scotia chocolate maker is about to become a Canadian citizen.
Tareq Hadhad, the founder and CEO of Antigonish-based Peace by Chocolate, will be among 50 people taking part in a citizenship ceremony Jan. 15 at Pier 21 in Halifax.
READ MORE: Trudeau praises Nova Scotia chocolate factory run by Syrian refugees
Hadhad wrote his citizenship test on Dec. 2 and says he passed with a perfect score.
He posted about his results in a video on Twitter that was seen more than 500,000 times in one day.
“Can’t hide this anymore! I passed my Canadian citizenship test,” Hadhad wrote on Twitter, boasting that he made no mistakes. “My ceremony will be in a few weeks. They said bring your family, but not sure if there is a venue that can fit 37.59 million Canadians, I have a big family now.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to the video with a message of congratulations.
“Your big Canadian family is very proud of you,” Trudeau wrote.
Peace by Chocolate opened for business in 2016 and now ships its confections around the world. The company employs locals in Antigonish and newcomers to Canada.
The family had made chocolates in Syria for more than 20 years, and shipped their specialty treats all over the Middle East.
However, the Hadhad chocolate factory was destroyed in a bombing that forced the family to flee the country, leaving everything behind.
READ MORE: Refugee chocolatier announces plans to ‘give back’ to Canada, hire 50 refugees by 2022
“I will be travelling around the world proudly saying that ‘I am a Canadian.’ It is the biggest honour of my life,” Hadhad said in a statement.
The rest of his family is expected to receive their citizenship later this year.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 8, 2020.
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