Born in Saudi Arabia, Omar Alghabra emigrated to Canada at age 19. He was first elected to the House of Commons in 2006 in the riding of Mississauga-Erindale and between 2006 and 2008 acted as the opposition critic for Citizenship and Immigration, and Natural Resources.
After losing Mississauga-Erindale in 2008 and 2011, he ran again in 2015 in the new riding of Mississauga Centre. He has since been named the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs). This is especially notable at this time because Alghabra is a Muslim of Syrian descent. He has worked in the past to support initiatives that help integrate new Canadians socially and economically. He has also spent part of his career encouraging young people to become socially engaged.
As an MP, Alghabra tabled bills on employee rights, balancing civil liberties with security laws and improved funding for transit. He also focused his attention on political accountability and immigration reform.
In 2015 he focused his campaign on job created and the greening of the economy.
He was also recognized for producing two self-deprecating election ads, one mocking a Conservative Party ad and the other a take off of Game of Thrones. He says that this is part of his effort to do politics differently.
Alghabra is a mechanical engineer with a degree from Ryerson University and also holds an MBA from York University. He has worked in a variety of positions with General Electric Canada, Enbala Power, and the Ontario Energy Board. He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow within the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science at Ryerson University.
Alghabra identifies himself as a community activist and has focused on reducing child poverty and unemployment in Mississauga. He is also involved with several local organizations including the Mississauga Summit and Youth Troopers for Global Awareness (YTGA). Long-time Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion has recognized him for his community involvement.
Alghabra has also been a member of the community editorial board of the Toronto Star, writing columns on a wide range of provincial and federal issues. His work has also been published in the Huffington Post.