A painting hangs on a wall in Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts. In varying hues of blue, soft yellow and beige, it is the portrait of a young woman. Her head is tilted slightly, her eyes looking into the distance. She is tight lipped with a resolved look on her face, but most noticeable of all is her sky-blue headscarf, emblazoned with a yellow Fleur-de-Lys- the national symbol of Quebec.
This is a self-portrait of Zahraa Sbaiti, a visual artist from Montreal, Quebec. Born and raised in Canada, Zahraa is 24 years old and of Lebanese decent. She is a student at Concordia University, soon graduating with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts.
Fatimah Jackson-Best is a healthcare researcher, advocate and academic. While studying for her PhD in public health science at the University of Toronto, she relocated from the city of her birth to the island where she traces half of her heritage: Barbados. Her PhD research project focuses on Afro-Caribbean women's maternal health; however, her interests also include the health of Muslim communities.
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.
While it is home to many brilliant artists, Ottawa is mostly known as a working city and not necessarily for its art scene. Hoping to change the future of art in her city, and perhaps the world, one Muslim woman has a few initiatives up her sleeve.
The Racialized Muslim Women: Recognizing Resistance, Valuing Stories panel panel event at Ryerson University and streamed online explores the experiences and resistance work of Muslim women in different policy areas, work they've done with a lens of seeking social justice outcomes. They will share experiences, policy engagement and resistance work as Muslim women: what that has meant at an individual level, while situating the experience within greater discourses, policy(ies) / Canadian institutional contexts which have impacted their lives.
Join us at the panel to hear from Gilary Massa, Fathima Cader, Zunera Ishaq, and Yusra Khogali. The event will open with stand-up poetry performances by Rimshah Ahmed and Shadiya Aidid. The panel will be moderated by Thamina Jaferi. The event will also be streamed online here.
Muslim Link interviewed Binish Ahmed, the curator of the panel, about why she chose this topic and these speakers.
Magicuts, a well-known hair salon franchise, has opened a new store on Ogilvie Road with a special section designed to provide quality hair care services in a comfortable space for women who wear hijab. The salon is part of Shoppers City East, a new shopping district located near COSTCO. It was actually a current Magicuts staff member, Lebanese Canadian Nisrine Soueid, who suggested that the store create the hijab-friendly space as there are not many salons who offer full services for clients who wear the hijab and don’t want their hair exposed to the public.
Muslim Link interviewed Indian Canadian community activist Farheen Khan. Khan is an published author who has written about her personal experiences with Islamophobia and spousal abuse. She ran in the 2015 Federal Election, the only woman wearing hijab to do so for the entire campaign. She is also the founder of the Muslims Actually blog which has now been incorporated into Muslim Link's website.
Farah Nasser brings extensive experience to her role as anchor on Global News at 5:30 & 6. Nasser began her career with RogersTV before accepting a position with Newstalk 1010 in 1999. There she started as a producer and worked her way up into a reporting role. Next, Nasser made the move to Toronto 1 where she worked as a journalist for two years before joining /A\ Channel News in Barrie, reporting for the Toronto Bureau. In 2006, she joined Citytv as a reporter and later became a weekend anchor. Prior to her position with Global News, Nasser was an anchor and reporter for CP24. Nasser has been informing viewers across the GTA for more than a decade. Among her career highlights are the Air France crash in 2005, G20 Summit in 2010 and the Toronto 18 terror trials. She’s a political veteran having covered municipal, provincial and federal elections.
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.