Some of the Arab Canadians Who Made a Difference in Windsor


The youngest Mayor in the history of the City of Windsor, Eddie Francis was first elected Mayor in November, 2003.

From bringing accountability and openness back to City Hall, to ensuring that Windsor and Canada had a major role in this year's Super Bowl, Eddie Francis and Windsor City Council have achieved a record of ambitious accomplishments.

As part of a comprehensive strategy to make City services more accessible, a new 311 telephone service was established-the first of its kind in Ontario.

Windsor's downtown is being revitalized. The Downtown Strategy includes the establishment of a new downtown campus for St. Clair College, a new transit terminal, and the development of an urban village-all of which complement a major expansion of Casino Windsor that will include a new theatre, 100,000 square feet of new convention space and a new 400 plus room hotel tower. Already, a number of new shops and restaurants have located in Windsor's downtown core.

Over $130 million has been invested in new capital projects-including a new home for seniors and 69 percent of this year's municipal capital budget dedicated to roads and sewers.

Financially, Windsor is back on the right track. Windsor's municipal debt has been reduced by $115 million in less than three years. The people of Windsor have seen among the lowest tax rate increases in Ontario. And Windsor's commercial tax rates are being cut by 3.6 percent, industrial tax rates are going down by 5.9 percent, and large industrial rates are being reduced by 9.4 percent.

Under the Mayor's leadership, City Council commissioned a groundbreaking report which assessed and promoted the need for new intermodal transportation systems and border crossings that are fully integrated with trade routes across North America and beyond. This report has helped generate debate regarding how to best move goods and people not only across the Detroit-Windsor border, but also across North America.

Before the people of Windsor made Eddie Francis their Mayor, he ran a very successful small family business with his brothers. He was awarded the Windsor Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Eddie’s parents came to Windsor from Lebanon in 1970, and Eddie was born in May 1974.

Eddie graduated with a combined undergraduate degree in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario. He went on to graduate from the University of Windsor Law School and was called to the Bar in 2002. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He completed his articles with international law firm, Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone.

Eddie Francis is married to Dr. Michelle Prince, a Doctor of Chiropractic who has a family wellness practice in Windsor. They have one daughter, Sienna and they reside in South Windsor.

Back to top

In the Field of Medicine:








George was born in Mexico of Lebanese parents in 1908. His family moved to Bell River in 1911. He attended school in Woodslee and graduated from Essex High School where he was awarded a gold medal in general proficiency.

He graduated from the medical school at the age of 25 in 1933.

He interned at Hotel Dieu Hospital and began general practice at age 26 on Drouillard Rd. in 1934. He was the first doctor in Windsor of Arabic speaking parents. He was a dedicated ideal family doctor. Dr. George averaged fifteen to sixteen hours of work daily and performed deliveries and house visits nights and days.

Dr. George volunteered to join the army in the World War II but was requested to stay at home where his contribution was more needed.

In 1947 Dr. George was joined by Dr. Michael Ziter the second Doctor of Arabic speaking descent from Lebanon. Dr. George was on staff at all the Windsor hospitals. He was president of the staff at HDH, MET and Essex County Medical Society.

Awards and Contribution to the Community
Dr. George earned numerous awards including the Glen Sawyer Awards from the OMA for community services.

He was a life member of the Essex County Medical Society, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the college of General Practice of Canada.

A colleague wrote “it is difficult to describe George with one or two words but to me George had the characteristics of Grace”

Dr. George was the epitome of a family physician. Family physicians do not just treat people, they care for them.

There is a mural depicting Dr. George talking to a patient on the side of a building south of the boating club on Drouillard Rd.

Back to top


Dr. Jasey was born in Lebanon but lived all his youth in Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia. His family owned a general store where he used to work after school. After graduating from high school in Annapolis Royal, Dr. Jasey attended the Dalhousie University where he received his B.Sc. In 1956 he received his Doctor of Medicine from Dalhousie and moved to Windsor, Ontario.

After a year of General Practice, Dr. Jasey continued his medical education in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Dalhousie. After completing his specialty, he completed a Fellowship in Oxford, England at the Radcliff Infirmary.

Dr. Gordon Jasey and his wife Fay are parents to Dr. David Jasey (Dentist on Ottawa street), Jennifer Jasey (currently a director in Dubai’s growing entertainment industry), Dr. Gregory Jasey (Orthopedic surgeon), Dr. Bradley Jasey (Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with whom he shared the office) and Robbie Jasey (teacher of business administration and computer science).

Dr. Jasey also is a grandparent to eight grandchildren.

Dr. Jasey retired from Obstetrics in 2000 but continues to practice office Gynaecology.

Contribution to the Community
Dr. Jasey is one of the founding members of the Windsor Islamic Association. He remains an active member and was instrumental in building the Windsor Mosque at the corner of Dominion and Northwood as a place of worship for the Windsor ethnically diverse Muslim population.

During the early 1990’s, Windsor experienced a large influx of immigrants from the Middle East. To assist these immigrants, Dr. Jasey was one of the founding members of the Arab Canadian Intercultural Orientation Centre (A.C.I.O.C) in 1993 and served as a president for the past fifteen years.

Dr. Jasey is part of numerous fund-raising campaigns to assist people in need around the world.

Awards and Achievements
Between 1962 to 1972, Dr. Jasey was the president of the World Lebanese Cultural Union. In 1971 he was awarded the Humanitarian medal of Honour, the Order of the Cedar for preservation of the Lebanese culture in Canada by the Lebanese ambassador Nabil Noussair.

Dr. Jasey also served as the chief of Obstetrics for over ten years at Grace Hospital and was president of the Academy of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

During the late 1960’s Dr. Jasey became the first doctor in Ontario to perform a foetal intraperitoneal blood transfusion for hemolytic disease of a newborn.

In 1993 he received the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship from the Government of Ontario for his community involvement.

In 1995 the OMA (Ontario Medical Association) granted Dr. Jasey the Glenn Sawyer service Award in recognition of service excellence for his profession.

In 2003 he was appointed to the position of Commissioner of the Windsor Police Services by the Provincial Government for a two year period.

Back to top


Remember to click on the side panel to hear an interview with Dr. Tayfour

Dr. Tayfour grew up in Hama, Syria. He graduated from the medical school at Damascus University in 1979 and later trained in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He came to Canada in 1983. In Canada he changed his specialty to Ophthalmology and specialized in retinal surgery. He completed his residency at the University of Toronto

Dr. Tayfour moved to Windsor in 1988 and joined Freeman at the Tecumseh medical Health Centre.

He traveled to Germany to study LASIK surgery in 1991.

Awards and Achievements
In 1991 Dr. Tayfour founded the Windsor Laser Eye Institute. He refined the technique of the LASIK surgery. He is one of the most experienced refractive surgeons in the world and has performed more than 40,000 refractive procedures.

In 1991 he became the first surgeon in Canada to perform cataract surgery under topical anesthesia and the first clear corneal incision for cataract surgery.

In 1993 Dr. Tayfour became the first surgeon in North America to perform LASIK on patients with nearsighted vision. In 1995 he was the first to perform the advanced procedure on farsighted patients.

Dr. Tayfour introduced LASIK to patients long before it was available in the United States.

He developed a model program for maximizing efficiency in cataract surgery, which was eventually adopted by most Ontario hospitals.

In 2002 he received the Golden Jubilee Medal given by the Queen Of England
In 2007 he established the Barrie LASIK Centre in Barrie, Ontario.

For the past few years he has been conducting work on Rheo Electrophoresis in the treatment of macular degeneration.

Dr. Tayfour is an author of many esteemed publications as the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology, Ocular News, The Journal of Refractive Surgery and Ophthalmic Practice.

Back to top


Dr. Mohammed Edwards was born in 1937 to Lebanese immigrants who had met and married in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia. Moody was raised in a rich environment that combined the Lebanese customs and heritage along with the proudly embraced Canadian identity.

His father, Joseph, a general merchant who immigrated to Canada as a teenager, spoke fluent English, as did his mother Audrey. His maternal grandparents lived close-by which gave him and his siblings the opportunity to learn Arabic.

The family moved to Windsor in 1950. Moody attended Kennedy Collegiate graduating in 1955. Football was his passion at the collegiate, but he could not continue participating due to an injury. He remained throughout his life a football enthusiast.

In 1959 he graduated from the University of Michigan with Bachelor of Arts. He was affiliated with Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity and spent his summers as a councilor at the Interlochen Music Camp in Northern Michigan.

Dr. Edwards received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1966. He finished his internship at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. He specialized in Dermatology in 1970. He worked as a physician in Windsor from 1970 until 2001.

Work History and Contributing to the Community
Moody personalized the ideal, gentle, caring, sympathetic and informed physician. After his death, it was discovered that he had deep effect on an impressive number of young people that he had encouraged to pursue their dreams of becoming medical doctors, either by endorsing them with reference letters or by quietly assisting them financially if there was a need.

To honour Dr. Edwards, the Dr. Mohammed (Moody) Edwards Essex County Award was created to assist area students entering the first year of medicine at Western University in London. This award was the first of its kind, and it paved the way for similar awards later.

Dr. Edwards’ interests ranged from travel, hunting, fishing, art, music and gardening to the building of Novi Equestrian Centre, a horse farm outside of Windsor. He bred and showed quarter horses both locally and at the Quarter Horse Congresses in the States.

Back to top



Dr Abu-Zahra was born in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1935. He graduated from medical school of Cairo University, Egypt in 1961 after which he returned to Jerusalem and worked for four years in the Department of Medicine at the Augusta Victoria Hospital. During his work at the hospital there was ongoing clinical research being conducted to identify the cause of anaemia noted among Palestinian refugee children. Being interested in clinical research, Dr Abu-Zahra saw an opportunity to get involved and by securing a British Council Scholarship was able to go to Scotland to pursue postgraduate training in Haematology at Dundee and Edinburgh Universities where he met his future wife Maureen. After a short employment at the Internal Medicine Hospital in Amman, Jordan, the 1967 Arab-Israeli six-day war broke leaving little choice for Dr Abu-Zahra and his wife but to return to Britain where he was appointed in Sheffield, England as a Registrar in Hematogy and Clinical Chemistry. In 1969 Dr Abu-Zahra accepted a position as a Research Fellow in Haematology at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada and two years later as a Research Associate at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.

In 1972 Dr Abu-Zahra moved with his family to Windsor where, as a Medical Oncologist/ Haematologist worked at the then cancer clinic - now the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre (WRCC).

Presently Dr Abu-Zahra is semi-retired and provides, as an independent consultant on part-time basis, clinical services at the WRCC. He also provides End-Of-Life Care at the Hospice Residential Home.

Community and Professional Achievements
In 1989 -2000, Dr Abu-Zahra was appointed the Head of the Systemic Therapy Program at WRCC and in 2001 became the Chief Executive Officer; Vice-President, Cancer Care Ontario and Chief of Oncology, Windsor Regional Hospital.

Dr Abu-Zahra is the founder of the "Friends of the Centre", a group of distinguished and dedicated community members whose first task was to launch the fund raising "Dream Weaver Campaign" in support of the new Cancer Centre and who subsequently became "The Windsor and Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation”. With tremendous community support - including significant contribution by Muslim and Arab physicians in Windsor - Foundation members, including Dr Abu-Zahra, were successful in launching the second fund raising campaign to bring the first MRI in a Cancer Centre.

Dr Abu-Zahra has also been involved with the Hospice movement in Windsor and served as a Medical Advisor, Board Member and a former President. He is a is a Board Member of the Ontario License Appeal Tribunal - an Order-in Council appointment at the recommendation of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and is currently the Editor of the Essex County Medical Society Bulletin.
Awards and Achievements. He is also a Life Member of the Essex County Medical Society and the Ontario Medical Association.

In 1997 was presented with the " the Volunteer Awards Program: Hearts that Light The Way "- in appreciation of Outstanding Volunteer Service to the Community. In 1999 he was granted the "Hospice Association of Ontario Award"- Recognizing Outstanding Volunteer Contribution to The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County. In 2001 Dr Abu-Zahra was the sole recipient of the Ontario Medical Association Glenn Sawyer Service Award - presented once a year to a physician who has rendered significant service to the OMA, the medical profession or the community. In 2007 he also received The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration" Ontario Volunteer Award" for 25 year significant contribution to the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County.

Academic and Research Accomplishments
In addition to a commitment to clinical practice and administrative responsibilities, Dr Abu-Zahra was able to pursue an interest in the conduct of clinical research. As an active participant in Co-operative Clinical Trials Groups being conducted locally, provincially (OCOG), nationally (NCIC) and internationally (SWOG), his research focus included Breast Cancer, Malignant Melanoma and Haematological Malignancies. At present Dr Abu-Zahra is a co-investigator of locally conducted studies dealing with "Occupational Histories of Breast Cancer Patients: qualitative and quantitative exposure assessment". As a senior author or co-author, there are thirty-four publications to Dr Abu-Zahra's credit.

In 1983-1990 he was an Honourary Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA. He is also an invited reviewer of grant applications by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Back to top

In the Field of Business:


Born in Arbet Kozhaya (the Valley of Saints), Lebanon.

Father, Fahim and Mother Hind were well known traders in Lebanon continuing in the tradition of generations of their ancestors.

The youngest of three siblings, born into a devout Maronite Catholic family, arrived in Canada at the age of twelve.

Abdallah’s family immigrated to Canada to follow the older brother, Anthony, who had come to Windsor six years earlier to go to school, and decided to remain in Canada afterwards. So the father decided to take the whole family including Joseph and his sister Claudette, and reunite with his son Anthony in Canada.

Education and Work Experience
Joseph attended St. Joseph’s middle school, then Corpus Christie H.S. (now Brennan). He worked for Leon’s furniture store in downtown Windsor while studying for his business degree in Windsor and Detroit.

At age 19 he was promoted to a furniture manager at the London branch and later transferred to Toronto to enhance the business acumen.

At age 23, Joseph purchased the first Leon’s furniture franchise taking over the store on Ouellette ave. In 1977, along with his brother Anthony, he opened the second Leon’s store in Devonshire mall which they operated for more than a decade.

Shortly after, Claudette and Joseph opened The Gold Mart, a small jewelry counter inside the Oullette ave. furniture store. Three years later they merged all the businesses under one roof in the Devonshire mall and placed the Gold Mart at the front until 1987.

The furniture business was sold and The Gold Mart was expanded and relocated to the Roundhouse centre.

In 1991, the brand name of “Joseph-Anthony Fine Jewelry” emerged, and the store opened on the corner of Ouellette and Eugenie as a world class boutique carrying the finest lines of jewelry and giftware. The store is largest of its kind in Canada. It was named after Joseph’s two sons, Joseph Jr. and Anthony who are learning the business to carry on the family tradition.

Contribution to the Community
Joseph is a proud Windsorite who supports many local charities. He is grateful for the opportunities offered to him and thanks Canada and Windsor for contributing to his family’s success.


Remember to click on the side panel to hear an interview with Mr. Taqtaq

Marwan was born in Jerusalem on September 24, 1941. He attended Berzeit College in the West Bank, Palestine, and graduated in 1959. He completed his university studies at the American University of Beirut in 1965 earning his B.Sc. in Pharmacy. In 1966 Marwan completed a one-year apprenticeship in Industrial pharmacy at Evans Medical Labs in Liverpool, England.

Due to the ongoing war in the Middle East, Marwan found himself isolated from his family who were by that time scattered between the West Bank, Amman and Beirut .

At the age of 25, searching for a better future for himself and his family, Marwan immigrated to Canada arriving on November 8, 1967.

On November 11, 1967 he started his career as an apprentice pharmacist in Cyrville, Ottawa at Towers Pharmacy with minimum wage of approximately $2.00/hr.

Marwan’s first winter in Canada is one he has not forgotten. He had never seen snow before and Ottawa’s cold weather was more than he could handle. He missed his family and entertained thoughts of moving back home. If it were not for the kindness of a pharmacist named Gordon Lane, Marwan would have done just that. Gordon Lane and his family took Marwan under their wing, inviting him regularly to their house. Gordon drove Marwan daily to and from work saving him from treacherous long walks in the harsh weather.

Marwan moved to Windsor in 1968 and earned his license to practice pharmacy in Ontario in 1970. He married his wife Nadia in 1971 and they have two sons Abe and Rami. They are members of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church.

Work History and Contribution to the Community
Over the span of 21 years Marwan held various managerial and supervisory positions within the Jack Austin Drug store chain including Pharmacist Manager, District Supervisor and ultimately Pharmacist Co-owner. Marwan’s pharmacy in Windsor’s Woolco department store was the most profitable among all Jack Austin’s drug stores in Ontario.

In 1984 Marwan established an international trading company transporting Canadian know-how to Amman, Jordan. He participated with the help of Capsule Technology Ltd. on Huron Church Rd. to build a hard gelatin capsule technology plant that currently supplies most of the Middle East.

In 1986 Marwan responded to a Revenue Canada request for proposal (RFP) to operate the duty free shop at the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel border crossing and his application was selected from hundreds of other qualified applicants. This RFP required a person with financial capability, managerial experience and commitment to adhere to extensive high standards of operations.

In 1994, Marwan and four medical doctors in Windsor partnered and built the South Walkerville Medical Centre on Tecumseh and Walker Rd. He is part owner of Windsor Medical Pharmacy and North Medical Pharmacy.

He is a member of the Windsor-Essex Pharmacy Association and Ontario College of Pharmacists. Marwan’s family boasts a long-standing tradition of pharmacists. His great-uncle graduated from the College of Pharmacy at Syrian Protestant College (AUB) and was not only the first pharmacist in the family, but also has the distinct honour of being the very first pharmacist to practice in Palestine in 1912.

Marwan is actively involved with Hospice and was one of the honourary chairs of the Hospice Village Campaign. Marwan, on behalf of the Taqtaq family, funded one of the Hospice Village homes, which has been named in their honour. The Windsor Regional Hospital’s Cancer Clinic also named a room the “Taqtaq Room” in honour of the Taqtaq family for their contributions. A room is named after him at the Cleary International Centre as well.

Marwan also plays an active role at the University of Windsor by sponsoring Middle Eastern studies and lectures in co-operation with the Political Science Department.

He has served as past President of the Canadian Arab Federation – Windsor chapter and is a former member of the National Council on Canada Arab relations.

He contributed to Charles Clark Square in downtown Windsor and funded the handicap access ramp at the Capitol Theatre.

In 2006 Marwan and his son Abe accepted the prestigious Company of the Year award at the Windsor and District Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Windsor Tunnel Duty Free Shop.


Adnan Kobrosli was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1952. He left his home country at the age of 15 to work as a sailor on a commercial ship.

On September 1973 the ship he works on arrived at Morton Terminal in Windsor where he had the opportunity to meet Leda Ruzza. They got married after three days.

Around 1976 when there was war in Lebanon he managed to bring the entire immediate family to Windsor with the help of Windsor MP Eugene Whelan. During that time Adnan became a liaison to many Arab immigrants coming to Windsor and helped them with sound advice and friendship.

Adnan has three children.

Work History
Adnan owned and operated many businesses in Windsor among them Wyandotte News and Variety, Gold Leaf tobacco Shop. In addition he was the first Bell Mobility dealer in Windsor in 1998.

In 2004 he served as the president of the Windsor-West Federal Liberal Association.

For 25 years he has owned the business of City Centre Maintenance and Janitorial, and the City Centre Parking Management.

Back to top


Remember to click on the side panel to hear an interview with Mr. Rafih

Talal’s(Terry) great uncle Barket Rafih, immigrated to Canada in 1898. He worked at a clothing store in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. He sponsored many family members for immigration to Canada. Terry was born in Lebanon in 1955, and his family arrived to Calgary, Canada in 1966, then they moved to Nova Scotia and his father bought a store in Picton in 1974.

Work History
Terry operated the store first until the whole family managed to move to Nova Scotia. Seven years later Terry moved to Windsor, married Kathy in 1983, and planned to attend the University of Windsor, but the lease manager at Bill Howitt invited him to come and sell cars, so he stopped attending the University and worked as a salesman for six months, then left to open Airport Auto.

In 1987 he opened the Mazda dealership on Tecumseh and Forest Glade Dr. with a 51% ownership and later purchased the remaining 49%.

In 1991 he sold the Mazda dealership and bought Down Town Motors in 1992 as a dealership for Mercedes- Benz, BMW and Jaguar. He renamed the company to “Overseas Motors” and relocated to the vacant Bill Howitt dealership site.

In 1993 he opened Parkview BMW in Toronto which he later sold.

Terry purchased Moe Campbell Ford on Provincial Road and renamed it Performance Ford. He torn down the old facility and built a state of the art showroom and service centre. The same year, Performance Ford was named the Ford Dealer of the Year. Today the dealership sells vehicles made by Ford, Lincoln, Jaguar and Land Rover. In 2003 he purchased Eastway Toyota followed by Pinnacle Chrysler.

The Rafih Auto Mall on Tecumseh Road near Forest Glade Drive now houses BMW, Mini, Mercedes- Benz, Smart, Eastway Toyota, Lexus and Mazda. This Auto Mall is one of a kind in Canada and probably in North America.

Community Involvement
Rafih is Windsor’s largest employer in the retail automotive industry (he employs close to 300 people), and he is a supporter to numerous charities including Transition to Betterness, the Hospice, the Sunshine Foundation, the Art Gallery and the Windsor Symphony.

Terry is a member of the Board of Directors of the Heart of the City Foundation which raises money for expensive medical equipment.

Mr. Rafih is also a member of the Mercedes-Benz Canada Advisory Council, the Mazda Canada Advisory Panel and the BMW Dealer Council.

He has been named an honored member of the Heritage Registry of Who’s Who in Canada. Rafih received the Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2005 from the Chamber of Commerce, and the Dealer of the Year honors from Mercedes-Benz an award based on the number of units sold and customer satisfaction. Performance Ford continues to be the # 1 Ford dealership in Canada. He also received the President’s Club award from Daimler Chrysler.

Considering his 20 years ride to the top of automotive sales, Terry states simply, “This was all done one customer at a time. Look after your customers and they’ll look after you.” “I never worry about how much money we’re going to make,” Terry admits. “For me winning is being number one.”

Terry Rafih is a charming man; a man with an insatiable appetite for work and a connoisseur of “the art of the deal.”

In the Field of Real Estate:


Work Experience
Tony Azar is an entrepreneur, business man, and a philanthropist who has made a significant impact on thousands of lives in the Windsor community.

Azar is the founder of the Azar Group of Companies that is focused on products and services for the new homes construction sector.

Azar’s flagship company Raymax Construction, has 100 employees and has built over 1,700 high quality homes in Windsor Essex County since 1987.

The company provides high quality, affordable family homes that uses the latest materials and technology, some of which was invented by Azar himself.

Inventions and Patents
The Azar Block, a mortarless block foundation system that significantly reduces the time and cost of building foundation was invented and patented by Tony Azar. In 1996 he invented the Azar Mortarless Building SystemsTM for the do-it-yourselfer market. Azar also holds 42 patents and 12 pending patents applications.

He earned the highest service excellence awards given in the industry, the Tarion Service Excellence Award which he has received each year since the inception of his company.

The Azar Group was awarded the Windsor and District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award in 1997.

Among the awards he received also is the Fire Marshall’s Award, a Golden Jubilee Medal from the Queen Majesty’s Award Foundation, The Pope John Paul II 25th Anniversary Medal.

Contribution to the Community
Azar sponsors minor sports in the community including Windsor Minor Hockey, Sun county Midget Hockey, Windsor Spitfires, Windsor Senior Hockey, and the Windsor Wildcats. Also he has contributed to Scouts Canada, Safety Patrol Jamboree, The Children’s Safety Village, Ontario Special Olympics and the Windsor Soccer Club.

Azar had contributed to the Hospice of Windsor, the Terry Fox Foundation, Windsor Regional Hospital, Brentwood Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Society and more.

He established a scholarship fund of $5,000 with the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board to help high school graduates who are in financial need with post secondary education.

In 1994 he began the “Feed the Community” Christmas campaign. He donated 500 turkeys to families in need for 12 years.

He is a passionate supporter at Saint Peter’s Maronite Church, and was instrumental in negotiating the price down for the new church and helping in financing deals to pay off the mortgage.

Azar is married to Theresa and they have four sons, Eddie, Danny, Dory and Jeff who are integral part of the business. Tony Azar does not talk easily about his accomplishments, instead he goes quietly about his business devoting his energy to making Windsor-Essex County a better place.


Work Experience
Founder of the Mady Group of Companies, Charles Mady has established a geographically diversified real estate development in North America. The Canadian real estate headquarters are located in Toronto and Windsor, while the United States headquarters are located in Dallas, Texas. The Canadian operations started in 1974 while the United States operations started in 1990.

Mady’s Group develops luxury condominium projects, single family housing, multi-family housing and commercial retail development. This diversification helped the Mady Group to position itself in varying markets across North America.

After modest beginnings in Windsor as a small building company, Mady was able to expand his business to become one of Windsor’s largest home builders by 1977. By 1980 the Mady Group emerged as one of Southwestern Ontario’s leading real estate developers.

Southwood Lakes master planned community in Windsor was commenced in 1990. It was the first environmentally sensitive community in Canada. It contained man-made lakes as storm water management system. South Roseland Estates, Rendezvous Shores and the Gates of Glengarda luxury high-rise condominiums.

Contribution to the Community
Charles Mady has always been active in community philanthropic activities. He was the driving force behind “Prosperity 2000”, a broad based community collaboration between business, labour, education and industry to plan and implement various initiatives.

Mady also has been active with the following;
The City Centre Business Association (CCBA) as a board member and chair.
The Capitol Theatre as a board member, chair of Gala committee and co-chair of the building committee.
St. Peter’s Church as board member, co-chair of building committee and co-chair of the fundraising committee.
Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital as a member of the Long Range Planning Committee.
The Mayor’s Hosing Task Force.
The Mayor’s City Centre Revitalization Task Force.

Professional Affiliations
Charles Mady is a member of the following;
Urban Land Institute.
The International Council of Shopping Centres.
The Association of Ontario Land Economists.

Charles Mady was born in Windsor in January 1946. He has three children; Charles Jr., Carrie and David all hold key management positions in the family business.

In the Field of Sports:


Albert C. Mady was born in Windsor on September 1, 1958 from Lebanese and Jordanian descent. He is the son of business man and Arabic community leader Albert C. Mady Sr., who was born in the Sudbury, Ontario Area on August 17, 1925, and was married to Nadia {Jumean} Mady in Madaba, Jordan in 1957.

Albert Mady’s grandfather Shahin Abdullah Mady came first to North America. He traveled from Jdeidet Marjayoun, Lebanon, to Madaba Jordan, then to Grand Rapids Michigan in 1900, then moved to Sault Ste Marie, then to the Sudbury Ontario area where he established a hotel, bar, and grocery store. In 1940 he moved to Windsor Ontario, becoming a successful business man.

In 1950 he established Mady’s “Big Boy” Restaurants and Mady’s Furniture Store, later passing away in 1957. Albert Mady Sr. and his brother’s and sister’s continued the work their father started. Albert Mady Sr. through his business and high profile political contacts, helped sponsor many Arab families to come to Canada. He provided many of them with jobs and shelter, some of which are established business leaders today.

Albert Mady Sr. and his wife Nadia also were the founders of the Jordanian club of Windsor. Albert Mady Sr. was sent to Jordan to raise the Canadian flag at the opening of the Canadian Embassy in Amman Jordan.

Mr. Mady’s home is full of pictures presenting him with people such as, The Honorable Paul Martin Sr., The Honorable Prime Minister Paul Martin Jr., The Honorable Eugene Whelan, The Honorable Herb Gray, The Honorable Mark MacGuigan and the Honorable Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad of Jordan, and His Royal Majesty, the late King Hussein of Jordan.

Albert Mady Jr. attended M.S. Hetherington School, Riverside Secondary School, Brennan Secondary School, St. Clair College.

Albert is married to Angela; they have two children, Chucky and Nicole.

Business Profile
Albert Mady Jr. has been training in the martial arts for 38 years and teaching martial arts since 1974. He established the Mady’s Institute of Isshinryu Karate in 1981. He began his martial arts training under Robert Markovich who ran the Okinawan Karate Club of Windsor. His instructor today is Grand Master Lewis Lizotte a 10th degree black belt.

Martial Arts Ranks and Achievements:
Albert is the first in Canada to achieve a 9th degree black belt in the Okinawa style of Isshinryu karate on July 7th 2006, which carries the title of “Hanshi”. The following is a short outline of his martial arts background:
• Ku Dan, 9th degree black belt, Isshinryu karate.
• Yon Dan, 4th degree black belt, Kyokushin-kai karate.
• Training experience: Isshinryu karate, Kyokushin-kai karate
• Toyama Ryu Iaido {traditional Japanese sword training}, Kickboxing, Bare knuckle full contact karate {knock down}
• Wrestling, Ryu Kyu Kempo, Kobudo {weapons training}, Judo, Boxing, MMA, Arnis.

Some Of The Personal Awards:
• ISKA, International Sport Karate Association, "best breaker pound for pound in the world". 2000 world breaking championships, featured on ESPN and TSN.
• 2000 Grand Master Don Nagle's Memorial Awards: Master Instructor of the Year.
• 1997 and 2001 American Okinawan Karate Association: Spirit of Isshinryu Award.
• 2002, American International's full contact karate championships: Light heavy weight full contact champion.
• 2003 AOKA, American Okinawan Karate Association: Dojo of the year.
• 2006 Inducted into the International Isshinryu Hall of Fame, {1st and only Canadian}
• 2006 Inducted into the International Martial Arts and Kickboxing Hall of Fame {1st and only Canadian, other past inductees,Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Heilio Gracie, just to name a few.}
• 2006 Life Time achievement award, International Karate and Kobudo Association of India, {1st Canadian and only Canadian}
• 2007, World Head of Family Sokeship, International Hall of Fame, Best Martial Arts School in Canada
• 2007, The Grand Master Don Nagle Legion of Honor Hall of Fame Inductee.

• American Okinawan Karate Association, board member
• North American Kyokushin Organization
• Mady's Institute of Isshinryu karate
• Ontario Amateur Kickboxing Council, board member FRM
• Isshinryu Karate Canada, director
• Ontario Hand Gun Association
• International Isshinryu Karate Hall of Fame
• International Martial Arts & Kickboxing Hall of Fame
• World Head of Family Sokeship Council, International Hall of Fame

Contributions to the Community
Albert is a proud Windsorite and credits his success to his school and martial art teachers. Over the years he produced local and international martial arts champions. He has been teaching Canadian and U.S. law enforcement agencies and the Victorian Order of Nurses to defend themselves or restrain patients.

Back to top

In the Field of Entrepreneurship:


Family History
Led by Maroun’s grandfather, the poor family relocated from Quebec City to River Canard next to the historic St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church. They later moved to Comber where they operated a grocery store.

They moved to Huron Church Rd., Windsor, across from Assumption Church but the father was forced to sell the home in 1924 to make room for the Ambassador Bridge that would span from Windsor to Detroit. The family chose to move to Detroit after the house was expropriated.

Matty was born later in 1927. While growing up he remained in close contact with his father’s brothers and sisters on Aylmer street, his grandfather’s brother Sarcus Maroun and uncle Joe Maroun. Matty’s mother side (the Peter’s) owned a grocery store on Niagara street and Parent avenue.

Maroun is married to Nora, owns three homes in Gross Pointe, Florida, and Tobermory.

Business History
In Detroit, Matty’s father Towfiq operated a gas station. Manuel graduated from high school in 1946 and attended Notre Dame University where he obtained his B.Sc. in 1949 and tried to gain entrance to medical schools but was unsuccessful because priority was given to returning veterans at that time. He spend two additional semesters at the University of Michigan hoping to get into medicine, but at this time his family was almost penniless and his mother was dying of MS. He had three sisters; one of them was a baby, so he returned to help his father in the gas station. After buses unloaded passengers, he would clean them, top up the gas and check the oil and tires. Meanwhile his father took over the Central Cartage Company that owned him money. Business improved as his father struck a relationship with the teamsters’ union president Jimmy Hoffa, and Central became the main transporter for GM.

In early 1970’s he bought shares in the Ambassador Bridge. Warren Buffet’s company WESCO agreed to sell Matty the 25% of the shares at $24 each. Later he bought the other share holder for 30 million dollars.

In 1979, Matty Maroun bought the bridge and gave the deed to his father. Manuel (Matty) Maroun is currently the Ambassador Bridge Owner

With the NAFTA agreement the truck crossings soared. He purchased other truck companies.

In 1980 Manuel took control of the company from his father and shifted the driver force from union members to owner operators.

The company has grown to include Central, Universal Truckload Service and PAM. It owns a logistic firm, several custom brokerages, duty free and retail gas stations at the Detroit end of the Ambassador Bridge. It is the second largest property owner in Michigan, third largest in Detroit.

Maroun is a prominent builder of the local and national economies of the US and Canada.

In the Field of Humanitarian Services:


Yehia immigrated to Canada from Abilias, Lebanon in 1977 sponsored by his aunt Amneh Jasey. He spoke French and Arabic Fluently. He learned English quickly and attended St. Clair College to study computer science.

He was married in 1983 and has four children.

Work History and Awards
With the influx of Kurdish and Iranian refugees and immigrants in the 1980’s he was asked by the board of directors of the Windsor Islamic Association to head the settlement process committee.

He worked also as an interpreter and translator of documents and teaching English to new comers.

In 1992, the Arab Canadian Intercultural Association was formed and Yehia was appointed to the Board of Directors. He made himself available at all hours when newcomers needed assistance. He helped families obtain assistance allocated by the government, but when that did not cover certain needs, he raised funds from the community to meet the need.

He became well known to government and non-government organizations as an honest, sincere, generous helper to thousand individuals and families.

In 2001 Windsor MP, Joseph Comartin sponsored Yehia for Citation for Citizenship in recognition of his services.

Back to top