Meet Mehdi: International Finance Volunteer
Mehdi Khalfallah is a recent graduate from Université Laval in Québec City, Canada, where he studied Finance. He is passionate about international development and is looking forward to his first experience on a humanitarian mission in Haiti. We asked Mehdi to answer a few questions to give us a bit of insight into what makes him who he is. Read on to find out his hopes for the future and who he would most like to be stuck in an elevator with.
Where is home? I was born in Tunisia but now I am living in Montréal, Canada.
Education: In 2017, I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Finance from Université Laval in Québec City. I’m also a CFA 1 Candidate, the CFA program is a professional credential offered internationally by the American-based CFA Institute for investment and financial professionals. I also hope to get a master’s degree and why not a doctorate?
CMMB volunteer post: I will be supporting CMMB Haiti’s team providing fiance and administrative support. I will work both in Port-au-Prince and also in Côtes-de-Fer at the Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Center for Health.
If you were asked to sum yourself up in two words, which two would you choose? Loving and generous.
Why CMMB? I like so much about CMMB. They offer the possibility to volunteer in finance and allow me to use my knowledge and skills to help those less fortunate. I really like the project that CMMB has offered me. I find it very interesting and really challenging and I think that I can give a lot to this ambitious project.
What are you most proud of? I’m really proud to have the chance to go to Haiti with CMMB and participate in this program. I’m also very proud of the Tunisian revolution of 2011 which put an end to a 23-year dictatorship.
Imagine you are stuck in an elevator. Who would you most like to be stuck with? And why? I would like to be stuck with my best friend, Omar, because we have known each other for 17 years and we always find the opportunity to have fun when we see each other.
You are featured in the NY Times. What’s the headline? “A Young Tunisian Proposes the end to Political Borders and the Unification of the World.”
What would be your theme song? Hakuna Matata, The Lion King 😛
Imagine if you were an animal, which would you be and why? I think that I would be a dog. A dog is loyal, playful, and is able to do anything for the cause he supports (Like protecting his house and the family who adopted him). I really love dogs.
What’s your hope for your experience volunteering with CMMB? First, I want to succeed in the mission set for me. I will give the best of myself. I also hope to learn a lot about the culture of Haiti. I hope that I will meet a lot of people and that we will share and make together very good stories and adventures.
Favorite quote: “It’s time to eat” – my parents.
Just kidding, my favorite quote is: “Impossible is nothing.” I’m really convinced that we are all able to do anything we want. This quote makes me feel ambitious and optimistic and makes me work hard every day to reach my goals.
What book should everyone read? Why? Ohhh very good question… I want to be able to read all the books of the world. Because, every book can be very hard work for any sort of person. But, I will say everyone should read Sapiens a Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harrari. I’m reading this book now and it’s really amazing, it changed my vision of the world. I really thank two of my close friends who suggested that I read this book.
Who would you like to play you in the movie of your life? My best friend Omar again. He is not an actor but he knows me very well and I’m sure he will make me very funny in the movie.
What is your hope for the future? I hope that food, education, and healthcare become available for everybody. I have always dreamed about a world without borders, without countries, and where a human is free to travel, to live, and work wherever he or she wants.
Favorite speech or Tedtalk? Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech.
If you could solve one world problem, what would it be? I will make food accessible to everyone. Proper nourishment can solve a lot of problems. I also think that if food is very accessible humans would be less likely to pollute the environment and will have fewer wars. I believe that humankind will become less selfish because they will be less anxious about the future.
What are the three things you are most grateful for? I’m really grateful for everything I have. I’m grateful to have a supportive family and friends. I am grateful for the education I have, and grateful to have access to healthcare when I need it. I am grateful for all that Tunisia has given me, and grateful to Canada for welcoming me. I am grateful to CMMB for giving me the chance to try and give back a little by helping people in need.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why? Habib Bourguiba, the first president of Tunisia. He is the man who brought back the independence of the country in 1956. He did a lot for his country, he invested a lot in education and made women free by giving them all the same rights as men.