What started out as a play made by Rohingya refugee youth in Ontario is on its way to becoming a full length documentary. Muslim Link spoke with actor Yusuf Zine is crowdfunding for a documentary to share the stories of the Rohingya refugees he has been working with in Kitchener-Waterloo over the last few years.
After years of working in community development and youth engagement across Ottawa, Hamid Mousa has been working with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) since 2008. Currently the OPS Community Development Coordinator, Mousa, a Palestinian Canadian, began as a refugee to this country.
Sheikh Ismail Albatnuni was born in 1964 in Tripoli, Libya. From an early age, he sought out Islamic knowledge, memorizing the Quran, and eventually studying Maliki fiqh (a school of Islamic jurisprudence) from local scholars. However, he knew if he ever wanted to take his studies further it would mean having to leave his homeland. "In Libya at that time, it was very difficult. Qaddafi shut down all of the Islamic universities," Sheikh Albatnuni explained. Instead, Albatnuni made the practical choice to study engineering and computer systems. However, in 1992, he left Libya to study at a branch of Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) because he was "very eager to study sharia." After graduating, he went on to teach Islamic Studies at Khalifa bin Zayed Air College.
Naceur and Lamia fled the political turmoil of Tunisia in the nineties and settled in Ottawa with their young family. Like many refugee fathers, Naceur faced the challenge of figuring out how to support his family on top of learning a new language and figuring out how to navigate a new country and culture. “My dad had no job when he first came to Canada. Then he finally found a job as a cleaner. He would find any way possible to get to his job. He even at a time walked on the highway in the freezing cold!” Zeinab shared.
Rehab Nazzal recently returned to Ottawa to install her latest multimedia exhibition Invisible at the Karsh-Masson Gallery as part of the City of Ottawa's Public Art Program. She left Ottawa a few years ago to pursue her Masters of Fine Arts at Ryerson University in Documentary Media and is now pursuing a PhD in Fine Arts at the University of Western Ontario.
Ahmad Abdorahman Awatt, faces serious threats to his health because of his immigration status. Awatt, a Kurd originally from Iraq, came to Canada in 1999. Although he lost his refugee case, he cannot be deported because his country of origin is on a moratorium list of unsafe countries that prevents Canada from returning him there.