On June 15th, the Canadian Somali Mother’s Association honoured exceptional Somali fathers for their leadership within the community at the annual Father’s Day Celebration. Abdul Arale was one of the speakers at the event. Arale was widowed when his eldest child was just six and he went on to raise three daughters and one son as a single father.
Sarah-Mecca Abdourahman, 15, is preparing to compete in the Ottawa Art Battle Regional Finals, a live painting competition where artists have only 20 minutes to create a masterpiece. Audience members move around their easels as they work and at the end of the round, the audience votes for their favourite painting. Sarah-Mecca will be the youngest artist competing in Ottawa. She is a finalist in the Art Battle she competed in in March, and will be competing as a member of a select group of All-Stars chosen by the event organizers at the regional finals. The artists are competing for a spot in the Art Battle Finals in Toronto this July.
Challenged by Professor Harry Mackay to develop a project to raise awareness about mental health amongst their peers, Shukri Ahmed, Mohamed El Koussy, Fatimah Mirza, Faisa Omer, and Ikram Hussain developed an award-winning project as part of their Introduction to Mental Health and Disease course at Carleton University.
Abdulgadir Ahmed, 17, is one of only two Student Trustees who sits on the Board of Trustees of the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. While other Trustees are elected during municipal elections, student trustees are elected by their fellow students. He has taken on the responsibility of representing such a diverse constituency with a great deal of sincerity. “This isn't just something you do to put on your resume,” he explained. “You do it because you are passionate about it.” Despite his hectic schedule, the Grade 12 Sir Robert Borden student found the time to speak with Muslim Link about the issues that matter to him most.
Transplant: Patient and Donors Stories took place on April 1st to mark the beginning of Ontario’s Organ Donation Month. During this month, the Trillium Gift of Life Network, (a non-profit agency of the Government of Ontario) responsible for facilitating organ and tissue donation and transplantation across Ontario, tries to raise public awareness about the urgent need for people to register to be organ donors. The event was spearheaded by Erica Bregman, a volunteer with the Trillium Gift of Life Network and supported by the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA), whose VP, Maher Jebara, hosted the event. Several religious leaders such as Reverend Anthony Bailey, Imam Mohamad Jebara, and Rabbi Reuben Bulka, as well as leaders within Ottawa’s Sikh community, spoke out in order to dispel myths that might exist within their respective faith communities that organ donation is not religiously permitted. But those in attendance were most moved by the presentations of organ donors and transplant recipients like Somali-Canadian Hiba Yusuf.
On Friday, Febraury 28th, a memorial service took place at Ridgemont High School to remember and celebrate the life of Mohamoud Hersi Abdulle. The service was attended by Ottawa Chief of Police Charles Bordeleau, who also spoke, along with Mr. Abdulle's family, friends, and colleagues. He was killed in a terrorist attack on the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Friday, February 21, just a few days before he was about to return to Ottawa. He is survived by a wife and six children. Muslim Link invited Somali community members who worked closely with Mr. Abdulle to reflect on the impact of his life and work in Ottawa.
In 2012 alone, more than 6.6 million children globally under the age of 5 died from preventable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, HIV, and measles. 1.7 million children die annually because of Severe Acute Malnutrition and 3.6 million die because of Moderate Acute Malnutrition. To put it simply, they die because they don't have access to food. Globally, 67 million children do not have access to basic education. That means they will never graduate from grade 8 and go on to high school.
The Muslim Basketball Association of Ottawa (MBA-Ottawa) ended its season with a sold-out All-Star game at the Canadian Tire Centre with Team Arafat facing off against Team Baqi. As an added bonus, those who attended the MBA-Ottawa game were also able to attend an Ottawa SkyHawks game. During the SkyHawks game, the MBA-Ottawa's Most Valuable Player (MVP), Ali Sow, was congratulated during half-time in front of a crowd numbering over 2,000. The MBA All-Star game was also recorded by Rogers TV to be broadcast sometime in January.
Farhia Ahmed is a mother of four who runs her own career consulting business. But on and off since 2005, she has been the team lead for Reviving the Islamic Spirit's Media Team. Muslim Link had a chance to interview Farhia about her journey with RIS and the role the Media Team plays in trying to improve the image of Muslims in mainstream media.