Mohammad Al Akel
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Expert
Bachelor of Science, Medical Laboratory Science
Mohammad Al Akel (he/him) is a MasterCard Foundation alumnus from the American University of Beirut. He was heavily trained to become a positive change-maker in this world. He believes in equality, and inclusion and envisions a world with zero judgment and based on compassion and empathy. He spreads love and light with his radiant aura. He has been advocating for LGBTQ2SIA+ rights since he was in Beirut, Lebanon despite all risks and adversities. When he successfully made his way to Canada, he fulfilled his post-graduate studies at The University of Waterloo. After that, he joined the “AIDS Committee of Durham Region” then he transitioned to Toronto to work as a research assistant at “The Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention.”; he still works there as a settlement manager where he helps numerous refugees and newcomers in adapting to their new environment and surroundings. Most people he serves belong to the LGBT community. Mohammad aids directly the most vulnerable and marginalized members of the community by providing emotional support, raising awareness about STIs & PrEP, referring to housing, mental health and harm reduction resources, translation and interpretation services, etc. To add, he is also the winner of the Sher Vancouver LGBT leadership award for two years in a row 2021 and 2022 as the 1st and 2nd runner up respectively. Amid the unprecedented COVID19 pandemic, he volunteered at the 519 for the LGBTQ+ pop-up clinic. He created and managed the first active and private LGBT Facebook group in Canada for LGBT Middle Easterners called “LGBTQ+ Middle Easterners and North Africans in Canada” with more than 280+ members. He is also the author of his inspiring E-book titled “The Influential Story of a Gay from the Middle East”, he is also co-authored a new research study titled “Understanding the Epidemiological HIV Risk Factors and Underlying Risk Context for Youth Residing in or Originating from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region: A Scoping Review of the Literature.” He is also part of the youth-adult advisory committee members of the “Expand Project” in partnership with the University of Toronto and the Canadian Cancer Society that aims to help LGBTQ+ youth stop smoking. Lastly, he created a fundraiser and assisted families in Lebanon affected by the August explosion that took place in Beirut, Lebanon.