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Story of family who founded Peace by Chocolate being made into a movie

Tareq Hadhad said the whole process has been exciting and he hopes his family's story will pay tribute to other newcomers to Canada
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(Photo credit: @Peacebychoco/Twitter)

You'll soon be able to go to the movie theatre and watch the story of Nova Scotia's best-known chocolatier family on the big screen.

Peace by Chocolate, the film wrapped up shooting last month.

Newly-minted Canadian citizen Tareq Hadhad said the whole process has been exciting and he hopes his family's story will pay tribute to other newcomers to the country.

"Telling our story is not only about telling the story of the Hadhads but about giving an example for everyone who is living in circumstances of adversity, of unthinkable moments, of pain," he explained. "When you lose everything in the blink of an eye and you're asked to leave behind, all of your memories, all of your beautiful moments."

"Some of their family members would be lost, would be killed, would be missed ... I think this is an honour for our family to be able to have that voice on the big screen."

Hadhad's father owned a chocolate factory in Damascus.

It was bombed in 2012 and the family was forced to flee Syria for Lebanon where they spent the next three years in a refugee camp.

Hadhad arrived in Canada in late 2015 and was followed by his siblings and parents a month later.

Sponsored by a group in Antigonish, they settled in the community and soon restarted the family business, launching Peace by Chocolate in 2016.

The company has garnered worldwide attention and it's now a thriving business in the town.

"Canada was built on the greatest contributions of newcomers to this country, rebuilding their lives after losing everything," Hadhad told NEWS 95.7's Todd Veinotte. "This is the ultimate goal of everyone, having a happy life and living in peace and safety. Our story is only one of many."

Halifax-raised filmmaker Jonathan Keijser reached out to the Hadhads in 2017 to ask if he could tell their story.

Tareq's family has been looped in on many aspects, including script development, casting, filming locations and plot.

"We were really honoured to be a part of this process," Hadhad said. "It was super exciting for all of us in the family to read this script for the first time and give feedback on it because we were giving feedback on our memories."

The Hadhads were able to fly out to Montreal to watch some of the shooting. If you watch closely, you might even see Tareq in the background of one of the scenes.

Peace by Chocolate, the film is currently in post-production. Hadhad said the movie should be released later this year, with the hope of having it ready for the fall film festival circuit.


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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