Samira Fayad, an immigration law program legal assistant, encounters the touching stories of immigrants who require legal help but are unable to afford lawyer or qualify for legal aid.

“We try to find ways to assist them and the whole immigration team collaborates together and finds ways to assist,” explained Fayad of her work at Calgary Legal Guidance.

A token of appreciation from a client led Fayad down an unexpected path. Fayad, who is fluent in Arabic, is a great help to refugees from Middle Eastern countries and a man she had assisted brought her some baked goods, When Fayad asked about the baked goods, she learned the man had made the items and had dreams of opening a bakery. The man’s dream was out of reach due to finances so Fayad decided to help the cause.

Fayad opened Tasse Bakery in northeast Calgary and hired the man as a baker and several other refugees as staff. Fayad also hired a refugee after learning of his carpentry skills

“When I decided to open the bakery, I asked him to come and do all the renovations and the carpentry work,” said Fayad. “He did an amazing job.”

Marina Giacomin, the executive director of Calgary Legal Guidance, says Fayad’s entry into the world of baking is a perfect example of her character.

“She really walks her talk,” said Giacomin. “Outside of Calgary Legal Guidance she continues to help people who are needing to come to our country for safety and support and she just goes that extra mile.”

For all she does to assist immigrants who face challenges, Samira Fayad is this week’s Inspiring Albertan.