Nai is a community effort
Responding to the sudden influx of refugee children from war-torn Syria, a team of passionate staff and volunteers founded this choir at CultureLink.
From the very beginning, , NAI has received generous support from countless community members. Corporations like Toronto Pearson entrusted us with resources when the choir was only a concept. Community leaders gave the choir their blessings. We are very fortunate to have avid advocates like CultureLink Executive Director Ibrahim Absiye and our local MP Arif Virani who have always had our back. Thank you! Merci!! Shukran!!!
Fei Tang — Founder & General Manager
As a mother of two young choristers and a veteran non-profit program manager, Fei knows first-hand how choral education can have transformative magic with children. This inspired her to go ahead creating this choir to empower refugee kids she worked with. A visionary social innovator who led CultureLink's Mentorship Program for eight years, Fei is known for her innovative ideas, capability to connect and determination to deliver results.
Hazem Abouelnil - Founding Member
A trained anaesthetist, Hazem's calm, wise, caring and persistent personal traits were cornerstones of the choir in the early days. He was extremely invested in the wellbeing of the refugee families he worked with, so much so that he showed up at work the next day after his mother passed away because he promised to take the Syrian children to skate. Although Hazem left to resume his medical career in the Middle East, his can-do spirit and passion are always remembered.
Monique De Margerie - Founding Member
Monique is the first professional musician who volunteered to help Fei set up the choir. Trained as a concert pianist specializing in chamber music, accompanying and teaching, Monique was instrumental to the choir's establishment. After many years studying and working in Quebec, France and Germany, Monique relocated to Toronto in 2011 where she has been building a busy piano studio, as well as accompanying students and Faculty at the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Nadeen Abu Shaban - Founding Member & Choir Coordinator
After many years working with refugees under UN aid projects in the Middle East, Nadeen sees the choir as her personal calling in Canada. She is the main contact for all choir families and is seen by the choristers as their loving and caring "Choir Mom". Trilingual, in English, Arabic and French, Nadeen coordinates the choir's week to week operations and the choir parents' English literacy lessons as well as the "Women Host" program.