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Alumnus of the Year

Levon Afeyan ’77 owns a Montreal plywood factory, employing about eighty workers. The last couple of years he has been hiring Syrian refugees and intends to hire more as Canada opens its borders to thousands of people fleeing the Assad regime and the Islamic State. He believes getting a job is an important step in their integration and believes hardworking, skilled Syrian refugees will be a big benefit to Canada. One of the most difficult things for the Syrian refugees Levon employs is to accept that their move to Canada is likely a permanent one. “They haven't grasped that yet," he says. "It takes time for a man to accept the fact that, well, this is it. I've lost (everything)." Levon’s family immigrated to Canada in the seventies and he remembers vividly the angst of coming to a new country.