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.
On September 28th, the Taliban invaded the city of Kunduz. University of Ottawa International Development student Ajmal Sarfraz was talking to his family on Skype when the fighting came to their home. “All of a sudden everyone started screaming. My mother was killed,” Ajmal explained, “My mother was on the roof looking to see what was happening. She was shot in the head.”
Roya Shams, 20, has received wide spread attention in Canadian media since she was supported to come to Canada from Afghanistan by Michael Cooke and Paul Watson of the Toronto Star after the assassination her father, a police officer and outspoken voice for women’s equality. Roya’s life was in danger because she was also a vocal advocate for women’s education. Since coming to Canada, it has not been safe for her to return to Kandahar to see her family.
The annual Milad un Nabi (Birthday of the Prophet pbuh) returned to Parliament Hill on February 11th, after more than a decade of being hosted at other locations. Given the recent attack on the Hill on October 22nd, this was quite timely as a gesture of trust between Parliament and Ottawa’s Muslim communities. Conservative Member of Parliament and Chief Government Whip John Duncan hosted the event in Parliament’s Historic Railway Committee Room where the iconic “The Fathers of Confederation” painting hangs.
On Friday, May 10th, members of the Carleton University Afghan Students' Association (ASA) organized a Mother's Day celebration to recognize the efforts of Afghan Canadian female educators who are actively involved within Ottawa's schools, from language school teachers to daycare workers. They also raised over $1000 in proceeds for Mirman Baheer, an Afghan organization that supports women writers and poets.