Dr. Brian L. Desbiens is the current chair of the Education Quality and Accountability Office. He is the former president of Sir Sandford Fleming College, serving from 1988-2004, and has taught a variety of courses like developmental psychology, counselling theory and practice, and teaching methodology at various colleges and universities within Canada. Dr. Desbiens has also served on the Prime Minister’s National Advisory Board on Science and Technology. He has been awarded the prestigious Lifetime Distinguished Services Award by the Canadian Presidents Network.

“… the whole idea of reaching out is absolutely core to the Hizmet Movement, but I would say that it’s also one of the most impressive things, because it accepts people. It’s acceptance, it’s accepting that we’re all in this world together. We all have a mission in this world.”

“…. to know that you’ve gone to Africa, to know that you’ve gone to the Caribbean, that you’ve gone to all these different, other places in the world to help those countries serve their people, I think is a remarkable statement about the generosity of the Turkish people and the Hizmet Movement.”

” I particularly think that, you know, some of the Western perception of Islamic countries is that they don’t support women. And yet the Movement, through creation of the schools, has been one in which has given great opportunity for women’s education, and women to rise up.”

” We in North America are, have our own blinders on, because in our own education, through our schools, we study Western culture, we study Western values and systems and predominantly European-centric kind of views. And so, having a country like Turkey, with a movement to go beyond all these boundaries, is something that we just aren’t used to. We’re just, and so it opens up our eyes, it opens up our hearts, in a way that I think couldn’t be done through just words or gestures. It’s done by action, and at a time when people truly need it. “