Skip to main content
Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge
Donor Updates
Team Leads
Media page header image - black text on yellow background
Blog page header image - black text on yellow background


This project is in collaboration with

Lifeline Syria logo

2016 Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge Year in Review:  - In collaboration with OCAD University, University of Toronto and York University

2016 Year In Review

Media Release Banner

Mohamad Fakih and Paramount Fine Foods Take Action to Help Settle Syrian Refugees

Initiatives including providing employment for up to 100 newcomers

Toronto, ON - Paramount Fine Foods, the fastest growing Middle Eastern restaurant in North America, has pledged to help newly arrived Syrian Canadians adjust to life in Canada with a generous donation to help develop skills and employment opportunities that will make their new beginning in Canada even brighter! 

While the arrival and care of new Syrian Canadians is important, once they are here we need to be thinking settlement and integration. Newly arrived Syrian Canadians have employment as a top priority. In response to this, Paramount Fine Foods has partnered with Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge (RULSC) and Magnet, a job-matching system that connects people with the appropriate jobs. Working together they will help settle some of the 25 000 Syrian refugees that have recently arrived in Canada. 

Paramount Fine Foods has committed to providing three to five positions in each of its locations to newly arrived Syrian Canadians. In addition to providing these positions and promoting the program to other employers and its suppliers, Paramount Fine Foods will generously help fund an employment support counsellor to work with other RULSC staff and volunteers to ensure new Syrian Canadians are recruited and supported in their job search. Training and support will be provided by Ryerson volunteers as well as with the help of Magnet. This generous donation from Paramount serves as a lifelong gift to improving the lives of newly arrived Syrian Canadians. Through this initiative, Paramount Fine Foods aims to lead as an example for others to support this ever-important humanitarian cause here in Ontario as well as within Canada. 

Paramount Fine Foods CEO Mohamad Fakih, who arrived as an immigrant from Lebanon 16 years ago is now “paying it forward”. Fakih has a history of contributing to initiatives that positively contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities within Canada: “Many of us came to Canada with little in our pockets and have worked hard and been rewarded for the hard work with success. I see this as yet another opportunity to pay it forward and to invest in our future by giving qualified, hardworking people an opportunity to excel.” 

About Paramount Fine Foods

Paramount Fine Foods is North Americas fastest growing halal Middle Eastern restaurant chain. HMA Certified, the company sources only the freshest products for its authentic recipes. All restaurants have been certified halal by the ISNA Halal Certification Agency. Paramount employs over 1500 staff members within, 32 locations in Ontario, a gourmet butcher shop, a food factory, a food truck and the new Fresh East franchise. For additional information and restaurant locations, visit

About Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge (RULSC)

Ryerson University has a mission to serve societal needs and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community. In June 2015, RULSC was formed in response to the world’s biggest humanitarian issue of the last century, the Syrian refugee crisis. RULSC was formed to raise funds, attract private sponsors and match them with Syrian refugees as well as to support the private sponsors in the resettlement of the new Syrian Canadians. As of March 2016, Toronto’s network of universities (Ryerson, University of Toronto, OCAD University and York University) has raised more than $3.5 million and has surpassed its sponsorship team goal of 75 teams, with a total of 83 teams to resettle more than 300 Syrian refugees. Already, 14 Syrian families, consisting of 90 people, have arrived and are settling in with the support of the local community. Find out more at

About Magnet

Magnet is a not-for-profit social initiative co-founded by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Ryerson University in September 2014. Magnet is a new network powered by data-rich, job-matching technology that connects job seekers with employers based upon skills, preferences and talent needs. The network is also a unique source of real-time labour market information for decision makers and community planners. Magnet’s goal is to address unemployment and under-employment specifically as it relates to youth, new immigrants, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and other individuals facing barriers to employment. Find out more

Media Contact: 

For interviews and media requests please contact Amanda Lao | Communications Director | Liquid Communications | 416 300 2001 |