Ottawa: Sarah Attia and Khaled Al-Qazzaz were welcomed by the Honorable Minister Stéphane Dion and his team this week in his office at Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. They thanked Minister Dion for the diplomatic leadership he showed to bring the family home. They discussed the impact of his intervention and that by reuniting their four young children with their father in Canada, he has reestablished their sense of family, security, happiness, and has given them a new start. Khaled and Sarah also recognized MP and Parliamentary Secretary Omar Alghabra's dedication, and that of his staff, to bring this case to an end.
Muslim Link interviewed university student Zein Ahmed who is fundraising to support Yemeni refugees to have fled to Djibouti, a small country in the Horn of Africa. She will be visiting them during this Christmas break when she returns to Djibouti to visit family. She hopes to raise $8000 by December 22nd. Check out her GoFundMe Page.
Tens of thousands of Yemeni refugees have sought refuge in Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia, countries which are themselves struggling with food insecurity. Ahmed reflects on the little attention the world has given to the Yemeni crisis, and what she hopes Muslims and other Canadians will do to support her community.
A group of Muslims in Toronto have come together to create ILM Weekend (January 21-22, 2017), where Muslims and non-Muslims will come together to brainstorm and develop innovative products and services for Muslims.
This Eid al Adha was special for a group of Muslim children in our city that our community sometimes forgets. The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CASO), Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa (CAFO), Muslim Family Services of Ottawa (MFSO), and CAS Friends collaborated to ensure that Muslim children living in foster care still got to participate in the blessings of this special holiday. Through proceeds raised through fundraising within the wider Muslim community and volunteer efforts, children not only received Eid gifts, including calligraphy of their name by local artist Chaker Zouari, but they also received qurbani meat to share with the support of Al Furat Meat Shop. CASO paid for 1/3 of the lamb, CAFO paid for another 1/3, and the rest of the cost was covered by fundraising in the Muslim community.
Muslim Link interviewed Cindy R. Perron, the Communications Supervisor for CASO, Karim Mekki, MFSO’s Community Liaison Worker, and Sawsane El Khatib, a volunteer with CAS Friends, about how this initiative came together.
Update (September 29, 2016) Despite setbacks this week, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and MPP Teresa Armstrong will not give up the fight to designate October as Islamic Heritage Month in Ontario.
“We have to take action on rising Islamophobia and hate-motivated crime in our Province,” noted Horwath. “Celebrating Islamic culture, history and the contributions of people of Islamic heritage to our society is an important step that the Ontario NDP will continue to fight for, despite the Liberal government this week not allowing Unanimous Consent on Bill 23.”
On September 12th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the Ottawa Muslim Association (OMA) for Eid al Adha prayers. This isn't the first time Ottawa's main mosque has hosted a Prime Minister. Shortly after September 11th, Prime Minister Jean Chrietien visited this mosque offering reassurances to Muslim Canadians in the wake of a dramatic rise in violent Islamophobic incidents in Canada and the US. So, it was fitting that just a day after the 15th Anniversary of September 11th, Prime Minister Trudeau should visit this same mosque.
Update: Homa Hoodfar has been released from prison. Read Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement in response to her release here
Canadian Iranian Professor Homa Hoodfar teaches in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University. She has been in the notorious Evin prison in Iran for over three months without charge supposedly under investigation for "dabbling in feminism and security matters". Her students and fellow academics, as well as friends and human rights activists have been rallying to see her set free. To learn more about Hoodfar's situation and how you can help, please visit the website Free Homa here
The Justice for Abdirahman Coalition is asking that members of the community contact their elected representatives at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels by September 5th to demand justice for Abdirahman Abdi.
The following is the statement released by the Justice for Abdirahman Abdi Coalition on August 14th at the City of Ottaa where several reccommendations were made to various government institutions in relation to this case.
To learn more about the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition visit their website here.