The fashion industry can be a cold and cut-throat world, but one happy-go-lucky Muslim woman is bringing warmth to it, one clothing collection at a time.
Iman Nakhala is a fashion designer from Montreal; arguably the main hub of arts and culture in Canada. Originally from Palestine, Iman was born in Saudi Arabia in 1986 and moved with her family to Quebec in 1993.
“My parents moved us to Canada in 1993 to get a higher education just like they did. I’m bi-cultural and proud of it,” she says.
Like many young Muslims raised in the West, Iman often found herself straddling more than one identity.
Asha Siad is an award-winning Somali-Canadian journalist and documentary filmmaker. She has reported for Shaw TV, CBC News and Frontiere News. She is the co-founder of Borderless Films, an independent production company.
Asha co-produced Living at the Border, a web documentary that shares the realities of African migrants and asylum-seekers in Italy. The project won the Amnesty International Canada Media Award for Best Online Journalism in 2014.
Nour Kaiss Soliman is one of Canada’s top hijab bloggers in the digital space. Currently, she is the CEO of two companies, one of which is a new mobile app company called Souqina, set to launch this May 2016. In the past, Nour has worked as a brand representative, community speaker and entrepreneur. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree after double majoring in Religion and Middle Eastern Civilization and minoring in History and Politics from the University of Toronto, and got into her creative pursuits pretty soon after graduation. She has amazing fans from all over the world and she also owns her own hijab company, ELLE-vation.
For 21 years, Fatima Omar Khamissa was a victim of an abusive marriage which destroyed all the hopes and dreams she had for herself. She took her five children and left that marriage and today, Fatima is the the CEO of Spiritual Biz Moms, leading provider of training and coaching for women who feel stuck, frustrated, and tired of living lives without satisfaction, meaning, and progress. The trauma of abuse, apartheid and violence was not able to break Fatima’s spirit and as an international best selling Author, Fatima is sharing her message to inspire, motivate, and lead women all over the world to continual growth in both personal and professional life. Women choose Spiritual Biz Moms because Fatima is not “just another coach”, instead she’s a real business strategist and thought leader who creates custom plans for you that details practical strategies for overcoming obstacles to unlock your greatest abilities.
Sudduf Wyne is a the owner of Salam Shop Lifestyle Boutique for Muslims. Prior to starting her business, Sudduf worked as an Engineer for government and in tech/ start up companies in management level positions. Sudduf has an Materials Engineering degree from McMaster University and an MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business.
Zehra Abbas is the Founder and President of YTGA (Youth Troopers for Global Awareness), a youth-led non-profit organization mobilizing and empowering young people for domestic and international social justice through campaigns, workshops and the arts. Zehra and the YTGA team launched a social enterprise in Mississauga called Studio.89, comprised of a fair-trade cafe, artademic resource centre, and community space. The cafe encourages ethical and healthy consumerism while hosting numerous community events and initiatives. The artademic centre offers arts, academic and lifestyle workshops as well as free resources and entrepreneurial opportunities. Zehra and her team have combined their multi-faceted talents to create the unique and dynamic Studio.89 model which facilitates both local and global action.
Founder ofDeservia Realty, Inc. and Deservia Financial Corporation, Farhana Kabir started her Real Estate career in 2003 and by applying her expertise and marketing knowledge to real estate, she rose to become one of the top salesperson in her company by 2006. An entrepreneur at heart who has owned and operated several businesses from a payday-loan company to two successful real estate franchises, Farhana continues to build an extremely successful career with her relationship-oriented approach to her clients.
For many people, the first thought that comes to mind about Palestine is tragic conflict not intricate embroidery. It is an unfortunate reality, but one budding Canadian business is slowly changing that.
Motarrazat is an Ottawa based clothing company started by Palestinian Canadian Manal Abusheikha. Having immigrated to Canada from Jordan with her husband and children in 2001, she left behind most of her extended family and friends. In the beginning, the couple started a small business and sought to finish school. Manal’s husband, Waleed, soon graduated in project management and she enjoyed looking through his textbooks which prompted her to also get her masters in the same field. Her interest in business led her to open her own day care and later on, her very own clothing company.