Carola Price earned the title of Sommelier from the International Sommelier Guild in 2001. She has a degree in Hospitality Management and over 10 years experience working in the kitchens of private clubs and restaurants in Montreal and Ottawa. Always an entrepreneur, she started IVV Wine and Food and has hosted monthly wine and food pairing dinners, bachelor parties, corporate team building activities and seminars as well as cellar management. She has led the Wine as a Business Tool workshop for both Concordia and McGill MBA’s and shares her expertise as on-air sommelier for Table Talk and Now Trending on CJAD radio. Day to day Carola is a national meeting and events planner at a big four accounting firm.
Ahmad Hussein was born in Damascus and grew up in Homs, Syria. His father and grandfather were cheesemakers. He learned the trade when he was a young boy and began working with his father in Homs. These are precious memories: "I feel happy when I think about those days. They were beautiful days that won’t come back. Everything was simple. I was never exposed to violence during that time. We spent our days making cheese and working the land. We spent our nights together under the stars."
Ahmad was 28-years old when the Syrian war began. He was married, had a family, and was working as a cheesemaker. The war shattered his peaceful life. He was imprisoned and tortured. His house was bombed. He was terrified for his family. He fled to Jordan with his wife and children. Life was harsh - displacement, poverty, fear. No access to adequate shelter; no education for his children. Plus, his father, brothers and sisters were trapped in Syria. Every day there were bombings.
Ahmad made cheese for other displaced families in Jordan as a way of holding onto hope. He began writing poems about his experience of war and torture. He waited year after year for the opportunity to rebuild his life with his family. After 9 years, the Government of Canada approved his application for resettlement (submitted through a private sponsorship program run by Reed Smith LLP and the Canadian Center for Victims of Torture). Ahmad arrived in Canada with his wife and children in June 2021, ten years after the war began.
Ahmad dreams of living on a farm, having his own dairy business, and helping others who have lost their homeland. He continues to write poems and share them as a way of inspiring others. He dreams of the life he had when he was a boy, when "everything was simple," and he "was never exposed to violence." He dreams of being reunited with his father who remains trapped in Syria. If he could have one wish, it would be "to spend one more night with him under the stars."