Last Updated: Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:47 pm (KSA) 09:47 am (GMT)

Canada's richest Arab immigrated with $1,500

Jameel Cheaib (L) struggled against all odds till he managed to become the wealthiest Arab in Canada
Jameel Cheaib (L) struggled against all odds till he managed to become the wealthiest Arab in Canada

From abject poverty in war-torn Lebanon to a prospering business in North America, Jameel Cheaib struggled against all odds till he managed to become the wealthiest Arab in Canada.

Thirty years ago, during the civil war that lasted from 1975 till 1990, Cheaib left his hometown Damour, a coastal town 19.2 kilometers south of the capital Beirut, after the supermarket his dad owned had been destroyed along with the whole town.

 In Greece, I met a North African woman. She was 50 and I was 19. She encouraged me to go to Canada. I had one contact whom I had never seen before 
Jameel Cheaib

With only $1,500 in his pocket and no entry visa, Cheaib headed for Greece and from there went to Canada.

“In Greece, I met a North African woman,” he told Al Arabiya. “She was 50 and I was 19. She encouraged me to go to Canada. I had one contact whom I had never seen before.”

Luckily, Cheaib found his contact waiting for him upon his arrival in Montreal and from there he began his arduous journey towards success.

Cheaib is the president and co-owner of Marche Adonis, the most famous hypermarket in Montreal. His partners are his brother Elie Cheaib and his compatriot George Ghrayeb, who both arrived in Montreal in 1976.

Adonis started as a small 1000 square feet grocery store. Now it is a hypermarket with four branches in Montreal renown for offering authentic Mediterranean food.

Adonis is very popular in Montreal, not only amongst Canadians of Arab origins but also with clients come from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds.

Adonis's motto is “From «Cedars Country»: Lebanon, to «La Belle Province»: Quebec.”




(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).

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