Tale of Chaker Khazaal: Refugee. Novelist. Humanitarian.

Chaker PNG

Chaker Khazaal

Chaker Khazaal — Palestinian-Canadian author and reporter — reflects on his life journey from a refugee camp in Beirut to a best selling author in New York. He shares tales of the refugee crisis as experienced at first hand, and from his reporting missions in conflict zones. Khazaal presents his latest book, Tale of Tala, and the stories that inspired the novel’s plot.

Chaker is a Palestinian-Canadian reporter, speaker, former Editor-in-Chief of StepFeed and YallaFeed, Huffington Post contributor, and author of Tale of Tala (2017) and the Confessions of a War Child trilogy (2013-2015).

Born in 1987 as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon, Chaker grew up in Bourj El Barajneh camp in Beirut. At a young age, he participated in several local plays and starred in the Palestinian film Sugar of Jaffa. He later immigrated to Canada. Being one of four recipients of the Global Leader of Tomorrow Award, Chaker studied at York University in Toronto and graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in International Development Studies.

He then worked as a public speaker and web-shows host before publishing his first novel,Confessions of a War Child (Part One) in March 2013, later followed by part two (subtitled Lia) published in 2014 and part three (subtitled Sahara) released in 2015. He traveled to refugee camps and conflict zones conducting interviews to inspire the events of his three novels and articles.

Chaker is an advocate for refugees and aspiring young writers. A savvy communicator, he has spoken at a number of platforms including United Nations Headquarters (New York), HuffPost Live, Google (San Francisco), msnbc’s Road Map show, International Youth Conference (Bahrain), Thomson Reuters Foundation (London), the launch of the 8th Arab Youth Survey (Dubai), Harvard Arab World Conference 2017 (Jordan), MarComms Conference, Facebook (Dubai), and at the United Nations Alliance of  Civilizations conference in Cairo (2017).

Chaker founded a for-profit program that offers refugees and migrants contractual remote employment in e-marketing, graphics, social media management and web development. Inc. (magazine) listed him 49th in their list of “50 Powerful Arab Businessmen You Should Know”. He has also cooperated with the Social Enterprise Project in Jordan to design the Chaker Scarf, embroidered by Palestinian refugees in Jordan. In addition, Chaker was the chairperson of the judging panel for the United Arab Emirate’s first Young Arab Awards held in Dubai. In January 2017, Silatech chose him as international ambassador for the organization’s regional programs.

In 2015, Esquire Middle East named him Man of the Year; and in 2016, Chaker was ranked first by Arabian Business Magazine in the 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40. In the same year, he was presented with the Mentor Arabia Award by Queen Silvia of Sweden and Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. In December 2016, Chaker was awarded the Global Trailblazer together with Arianna Huffington by New York based NGO Bridges of Understanding.

His new book — Tale of Tala — presents the journey of a Palestinian refugee from a camp in Lebanon to human traffickers in Europe where she becomes a prostitute. Tale of Tala is a love story that is a descriptive narrative of the plight of refugees today, inspired by interviews conducted by Khazaal during his reporting trip to Europe and the Middle East in 2015. This romantic thriller is set to be released in September 2017.