Pleiades Theatre Associate Producer

Inspired by the themes explored in Besbouss, Pleiades Theatre Associate Producer James Graham facilitates a post-show panel on the legacy of the Arab Spring through cultural and political perspectives and with particular attention to its impact on the Arab diaspora here in Canada.

ADMISSION: the post-show panel conversation is free to attend, with the purchase of a ticket to Besbouss on Nov 19, 7:30pm.

Tuesday, November 19th

"The Legacy of the Arab Spring in Canada and Internationally: Exploring the successes and failures of the Arab Spring, its impact on Canada and the formation of Arab political identity in Canada," with panelists Dr. Miloud Chennoufi, May Tartoussy and Raja Khouri.

Dr. Miloud Chennoufi is a professor of international relations and the geopolitical history of the Middle-East at the Canadian Forces College (Toronto). He is also a senior fellow at Glendon College (York University) where he teaches a graduate course on diplomacy and negotiations. He is the author of "Great Powers and slamism" published in French as "Grandes puissances et islamisme." Before moving to Canada in 1997, he was a journalist in his native Algeria.

May Tartoussy has over 7 years of experience in Marketing and Communications, she was a Brand Manager at Dubai Industrial City. May Immigrated to Canada in 2010 due to the financial crisis in 2008. As Canada received waves of Syrian refugees, May like many Syrians living in Toronto was compelled to volunteer with the newcomer families and their sponsors. Inclusion and Economic empowerment became her focus. Through her work at Canadian Arab Institute she had the opportunity to work closely with youth through the institute’s mentorship program with the objective of empowering the newcomers and youth through professional development and mentorship. Currently, May is serving as a Bilingual Settlement Worker at Peel Multicultural Council, helping dozens of newcomer families from Syria, Egypt and Iraq every day. She helps them navigate their settlement process in the hope of successful and smooth integration into their new home. May is also an Access and Equity Champion Ambassador by OCASI where she actively is engaged in her community, working for the inclusion and human rights of LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities.


Raja G. Khouri is a seasoned professional and recognized leader in social innovation, race relations, advocacy, human rights and inclusion. CEO at Khouri Conversations, he was founding president of the Canadian Arab Institute and a ten-year commissioner with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He is Canada Committee member of Human Rights Watch and co-founder of the Canadian Arab/Jewish Leadership Dialogue Group. Raja is known as a bridge-builder and has served on several governmental and civil society bodies, including as president of the Canadian Arab Federation.  He is the author of Arabs in Canada: Post 9/11.