The Silk Road Institute's Combating Hate, Advancing Inclusion (CHAI) digital video arts competition was funded through the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, with financial support from the Vancouver Foundation, the Edmonton Foundation, the Winnipeg Foundation and the Oakville Community Foundation settlement fund.
Muslim Link interviewed CHAI 2017 winner Aquil Virani about his video, Postering Peace.
Muslim Link interviewed Ethiopian Canadian arts educator Timaj Garad. Timaj is a Toronto-based multi-disciplinary artist, using poetry and theatre to bring stories to life. Her art is auto-biographical, working at the intersections of a black Muslim woman challenging injustice, unearthing truths, and healing. As an award-winning artist and educator, Timaj Garad has graced over 200 stages and facilitated several arts-based workshops. She whole-heartedly believes in the transformative power of the arts and is dedicated to engaging youth in critical arts education initiatives to uplift, inspire, and build ethical communities.
Muslim Link’s Aicha Lasfar had an opportunity to interview Deen Squad this summer while they were recording in Ottawa. Accompanied by her husband Ryan Fournier, an Islamic School teacher and long-time friend of Deen Squad’s Ghanaian Canadian Jae Deen and Lebanese Canadian Karter Zaher, the interview explores the group’s journey from Ottawa to Dubai and beyond.
Muslim Link would like to thank Ottawa’s Poet Laureate Jamaal Rogers for providing space for the interview at The Origin Arts & Community Centre.
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.
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.
Nader Khan is a Indian Canadian singer/songwriter, arts educator and social activist. Over the last 20 years, he has toured and performed across Canada, USA, South Africa, UK, the West Indies, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore in solo performances, and on tours with other internationally renowned artists and scholars. Nader has spearheaded various social justice initiatives that promote local and international relief efforts through Islamic devotional music, arts, youth engagement, and inspiration. In 2013, Nader established #ShareTheProphet, bringing together service and devotion by channeling 100% of sales revenue from future albums into humanitarian causes. His second album, Water was released in May 2015 to widespread critical acclaim. 100% of the album sales of Water will be going to WaterAid Canada. Nader is an Ontario Arts Council Arts Educator, delivering workshops on drumming, Islam and music as well as social justice in schools throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
Vancouver-based writer Rahat Kurd has recently published a collection of poetry entitled Cosmophilia. Her collection explores her personal journey as a Kashmiri Muslim Canadian woman grappling with faith, identity, history, family and the traumatic and ever present legacy of the partition of India and Pakistan. She will be in Ottawa on March 29th and in Toronto on April 9th reading from her collection. Muslim Link interviewed her about her writing.
Jamaal Jackson Rogers is a Black Muslim Canadian Spoken Word poet in Ottawa. He has coached and supported several of the city’s up and coming Spoken Word poets. Muslim Link interviewed him about his personal journey as an artist.