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Hants’ Faces Friday — Kamile Chater


Published on June 9, 2017

Kamile Chater came to Canada in his mid-20s, coming from a small village called Karem Asfour in Lebanon.

©Colin Chisholm

WINDSOR, N.S. — Faces Friday is our online feature highlighting members of our community: their strength, challenges and humanity.

Meet Kamile Chater, who has owned and operated a store in Windsor since 1984. Chater immigrated to Canada from a small village called Karem Asfour, located in Lebanon, along with members of his family.

He eventually settled in Windsor. He owns and operates Kamile's Mart.

Chater moved to find prosperity and to have a better life. Today, he calls Canada the greatest country in the world.

Kamile Chater moved to Canada from Lebanon decades ago with his family to find prosperity and a better life. Today, he calls it the greatest country in the world.
Colin Chisholm

In this week's Faces Friday, Chater talks about his experience of discovering rock music in Tripoli, which eventually lead to him learning how to play a guitar.

“I play a little bit of country and blues. It’s a funny thing, back in the 60s, well my father died when I was three, so I didn’t have a father back then, but anyway as I was growing, I fell in love with playing guitar. In the village I grew up in there wasn’t anybody that plays; nobody played any musical instruments in that village. But my sister got married to my brother-in-law in Brazil and they still live there. She comes from Brazil and rents this condominium in Tripoli, the second capital, and she would bring me over for the weekend and that was really the height of me living there. There was so much stuff in the city. If you go to Beirut, it’s like a major European city, there’s just merchants everywhere. So anyway I would go visit her in Tripoli for a week. I didn’t have a car, didn’t drive, so I would walk around and as I was walking there one day, I hear this music coming from somewhere and I kept walking towards it and there was this high-rise building and on the bottom there was a big window that was open and I looked in there and there was a band playing, and I’ll never forget the song. It was called A Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress. And I thought, ‘Oh my God, how can they do that?’ and that’s what got me into wanting to play so bad.”

“There was five guys, playing that song, and it really got me into guitar. From that point, I started working on it — my goal was to get a guitar. I don’t know how I got it, it was an acoustic guitar, just a piece of crap, but it was an acoustic guitar. I was learning myself because back then you didn’t have 25 cents in your pocket to go learn music, let alone buy an instrument. But it made me feel like I was a star, I’m playing guitar. That was my first encounter with music. And when I came to Canada, well, everything is here. You can buy a guitar, you can buy whatever you want. Back there you just couldn’t do it; it was a poor, poor time.”

Kamile Chater picks away at his guitar inside his store in Windsor. Chater said he became interested in guitar playing after hearing a band play the song Long Cool Women in a Black Dress while walking around Tripoli, Lebanon.

©Colin Chisholm