Police meet with Lebanese community to heal rift
From CBC News
A meeting was held Tuesday night to help improve relations between Ottawa police and the city’s Lebanese and Arab communities.
Police felt it was important to create a dialogue with the two groups, said Ottawa police Chief Verne White.
White said Ottawa’s Lebanese community has been upset since an off-duty police officer was charged with assaulting cab driver Sami Aldoboni, 43, at the Ottawa International Airport in May.
The gathering, which was held at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral on Riverside Drive, was intended to ease tensions after the incident but also to improve relations in general, said White.
The Lebanese and Arab Social Service Agency of Ottawa (LASSA), the Ottawa Police Service and the Ottawa Police Services Board organized the meeting.
“At this event, I learned the relationship is different — even within the Lebanese community, the relationship’s not the same, which is important for us to understand,” said White.
“But as well, I think I learned that we have a lot of people out there who believe we’re on the right path, even if we’re not where we need to be.”
Ghadeer Abou-Shakra, who spoke to the crowd, said she thinks everyone has something to learn when it comes to the relationship between the two groups.
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