NCCAR Parliamentary Intern Pierre Lévesque shares his thoughts on working in the office of Ahmed Hussen, M.P. for York South -Weston 

pierreTime has flown! As of today, the 3rd week of my parliamentary internship has already come to an end. Needless to say, the preceding weeks have been quite engaging.

As some of you may know, recently, the NCCAR hosted its prestigious Diversity in Parliament annual event, gathering renowned personalities from the Canadian political realm. Nearly 400 people attended, including 20 current and former parliamentarians, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, city councilors, ambassadors, and community and faith leaders. As an NCCAR intern, I was gratified to have contributed to the organization of the ceremony, along with other members of the NCCAR team, while being in charge of NCCAR’s official information kiosk during the event. Throughout the evening, I met a wide array of business-people, politicians, and even some of my friends. It was also a great opportunity for me to use my Arabic and Farsi skills. Even though the event was intended to place a spotlight on Canadian Arab MPs and Arabic culture, I witnessed the presence of people from diverse nationalities, from Morocco to Saudi Arabia, and from Iran to Pakistan. As a result of this event, I have amassed an impressive lot of business cards, Facebook contacts, and phone numbers.

In addition to working at the NCCAR offices, the internship program has me placed with a Member of Parliament. I have been working with Ahmed Hussen, MP for York South-Weston, providing assistance and support for his parliamentary duties. One of the most thrilling occurrences of this parliamentary internship is my attendance at Mr. Hussen’s bi-weekly Justice and Human Rights Committee, where many topics regarding the lives of Canadians are discussed. Moreover, my duties at the office vary extensively, ranging from research to agenda setting recommendations, and attendance at high-level meetings. I look forward to the coming weeks and duties with Mr. Hussen.

Overall, this parliamentary internship is a must-have (or a “must-happen”) for any students out there with an interest in the Middle East, multiculturalism, and politics. I am grateful to the NCCAR for this opportunity, and will keep everyone posted on the updates of my internship.

Pierre

May 2016