The man responsible for manufacturing Red River College’s new branded face masks is no stranger to generosity.
Albert El Tassi, CEO of Peerless Garments, believes that helping people is the best thing you can do for yourself and for your community. Since immigrating to Winnipeg from Lebanon in 1969 he has made a strong commitment to supporting anybody in need – especially students, healthcare workers and refugees.
“Refugees are important in my life – everybody should have a shelter, everybody should have a roof over their heads. Refugees have been denied that. If you can save one life you can save an entire humanity,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what part of the world they come from, we don’t discriminate. If we can help, I’m there to help. If we leave this world better than when we came, I will be happy.”
El Tassi has been a champion of RRC’s Student Refugee Program since 2015, and has been instrumental in providing financial and cultural support for the students who have had the opportunity to study at the College through a partnership with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC).
On top of financial assistance, El Tassi has provided each student with a winter coat, shared important information about how to get around in Winnipeg, and introduced them to Winnipeg’s Muslim community through weekly services at the mosque he attends.
“I believe in education. Without education the world will be much darker,” he said. “I love helping students, refugees or not, so they can advance in life.”
Beyond RRC, El Tassi has donated to support students at the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, and College Universite St. Boniface – he also opened Al Hijra Islamic School, Manitoba’s first Muslim-faith elementary school, in 1996.
He and his wife, Samira, have also donated to a number of charities dedicated to improving the lives of children and defending human rights in Manitoba and around the world.
Earlier this year, El Tassi was also part of an effort made by Winnipeg’s Lebanese community to provide relief and aid to those who were impacted by the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.
“When you enjoy giving more than you enjoy receiving, then you enjoy life,” he said. “The amount is irrelevant. If you have an extra dollar, you can give an extra dollar.”
El Tassi said that he doesn’t expect anything in return from the people he helps, but is always happy to see a student succeed in their career and give back to their community.
“I encourage everybody to help humanity where help is needed,” he said.
RRC branded face masks available now:
Red River College branded facemasks are available in two styles at the Campus Store.
Black fitted masks are available for $6.79 and Navy Blue folded rectangle masks are available for $8.79. Both styles are two layer and non-medical with a molded nose strip at the top.
Order online at: Bookstore.rrc.ca