Chelby Marie Daigle is Muslim Link’s Coordinator. Under her direction, Muslim Link adopted its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy so that the paper strives to reflect the complexity of the region’s Muslim communities. As Coordinator, she works to build relationships with local Muslim and mainstream organizations and manages the paper's social media and events listing. She also works closely with the Publisher to develop operational policies for the paper. Find her on Twitter @ChelbyDaigle
On February 17th, the Ottawa Hijab Solidarity Day was held at City Hall. The City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) partnered with the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women, the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP), and the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres to hold the event.
Muslim Link had the opportunity to interview Mohammed Al Rayyan and his wife Dima Siam, who is facing deportation to Syria. A petition was launched on March 8th, International Women’s Day, demanding that the new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, John McCallum, grant Dima permanent residency. Dima hopes that members of Ottawa's Muslim community would consider supporting her cause and signing the petition.
Somali Canadian Abdirizak Mohamud has been a foster parent with the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa for over 10 years, during which time he has fostered over 15 children. The majority of these children have been from Muslim backgrounds. Muslim Link interviewed Abdirizak about his experience as a foster parent and why more Muslim foster parents are needed in Ottawa.
Muslim Family Services of Ottawa (MFSO) was recently honoured for their work with the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CAS). MFSO has partnered with CAS to address the needs of Muslim children in foster care in the city. Muslim Link interviewed Pakistani Canadian Shawana Shah, MFSO’s CAS Multicultural Liaison Worker, about MFSO’s work and what is needed to better support Muslim children who come into care.
Serenity Islamic Mental Health Awareness was founded last year as a way to address the stigma and common myths associated with mental illness in Ottawa’s Muslim Communities. It is led by Berak Hussain, a practicing counsellor and graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Masters’ in Counselling Program, and a number of university students. At present they have organized a few presentations on mental health by qualified mental health service providers who come from Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds.
Muslim Link interviewed Berak Hussain about the initiative.
Amal Fertility is a Mississauga-based support group for Muslim women struggling with infertility. The group offers monthly meetings and information sessions on topics such as adoption and foster care. Muslim Link connected with the group’s founders, Sarah Hussain and Fatima Shaikh, to explore the need to initiate more discussion on the realities of Muslim women struggling with infertility and childlessness in our communities. Hussain and Shaikh shared their individual journeys that brought them to forming the Amal Fertility Support Group and then responded to the rest of our questions collaboratively.