COMMUNITY SUCCESS STORIES
There is no shortage of success stories of Canadians across the nation. Yet, the journey of Ahmad Tariq Fahimi is one typical of those aspiring to excel in life. Mr. Fahimi teaches high school mathematics as well as the International Baccalaureate Mathematics Standard Level program at Sir Wilfrid Lauier Collegiate Institute. He also teaches Mathematics part-time in the position of professor in the Engineering Technology and Applied Science (SETAS) Mathematics department at Centennial College.
Mr. Fahimi has participated in reviewing Mathematics textbooks for Pearson Education Canada. The reviews included the Foundations of Mathematics textbook Pearson Math 9, and the Foundations for College Mathematics textbook Pearson Math 11. These textbooks are currently used in many high schools.
Mr. Fahimi attended Estiqlal High School of Kabul. Established by the reformist King Amanullah in 1922, Istiqlal (Independence) offered bilingual classes in Dari/Persian and French. Unfortunately, Mr. Fahimi couldn’t graduate the prominent school as he, along with his family, was forced into exile due to the ongoing war.
In 1991 Mr. Fahimi resettled in Canada along with his family. But Fahimi’s ambitions weren’t tameable even away from home. In Canada he soon discovered a whole new horizon of hope and opportunity. He says, “As soon as I sat foot in the new country, literally everything looked odd to me. Cultural shock and distress of being away from native country all caused pain.” However, simply nothing could deprive this newcomer at Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute of his sense of hope for the future. As he himself puts it, “Resilience, consistent effort and passion to excel helped ease off challenges of immigration to Canada.”
Modeling on his father, Mohammad Hassan Fahimi, Tariq desired becoming a Math teacher. “I wanted to become a teacher, through which to access the right platform and strategies to encourage kids on acquiring meaningful education in order to be successful in their future endeavors.” , Fahimi goes on saying.
A future for which he dreamt and worked hard long years and ultimately was able to make it happen.
Mr. Fahimi obtained his Bachelor of Science degree (Highest Honours in Mathematics) from Carleton University, Master of Science degree in mathematics from University of Toronto, and Bachelor of Education degree from York University. He has been the recipient of numerous accolades. Carleton University awarded Mr. Fahimi the Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement, the President’s Scholarship, the Claude Bissell Scholarship, and Chalmers Jack MacKenzie Scholarship; the Afghan Association of Ontario recognized Mr. Fahimi for his outstanding Volunteer Services in the Afghan Community of Ontario; the Scarborough Board of Education awarded Mr.Fahimi, during his high school years, the Excellence in Education Award; and the Consul General of Afghanistan in Toronto recognized Mr. Fahimi for his contribution and citizenship in the community. In addition, The Honourable Corneliu Chisu, Member of Parliament, presented Tariq Fahimi with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Mr Fahimi has been community activist for nearly 18 years. He is the current President of the Canadian Afghan Council, a non-profit organization that focuses on uplifting the quality of life among Canadians of Afghan origin through providing a leadership role in advancing their social, cultural, and scholastic endeavors. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Dyana Afghan Women’s Fund, which provides skills training and literacy classes to women in Afghanistan.
He is one amongst a group of Afghan associates who pioneered “Canadian Afghan Student Success Initiative” program at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute, ensuring in-class success for Afghan-Canadian students as well as smooth integration for their parents into Canadian educational system.
Mr. Fahimi, a teacher, educator, and community activist was presented with the Diamond Jubilee Medal by The Honourable Corneliu Chisu, Member of Parliament in September of 2012 for his dedication to improving the lives of his fellow Afghans, both here in Canada and in Afghanistan. Addressing a large conferment ceremony in Toronto, The Honourable Corneliu Chisu pointed out that Ahmad Tariq Fahimi is an Afghan –Canadian with a remarkable ability to make a difference at many levels. When Mr. Fahimi took the podium, he said, “Without earning proper education progress and prosperity would remain far-fetched. We all must fight through obstacles in search of the opportunities that are out there, should we really wish to fulfill our dreams.”
In addition, Mr. Fahimi’s passion to contribute in community-building efforts and to use his educational expertise and experiences in helping the ongoing efforts for modernizing the educational system in Afghanistan are well-aligned with his vision.