Sakina bint Erik is a local author, illustrator and educator. She home-schools her children and has been a Muslim since 1996. Presently pursuing a bachelor's degree at the Islamic Online University in Islamic Studies, she lectures about the important role of Muslim women scholars throughout history.
In this installment of the Journey to the Light, we hear the brothers’ side of the Ottawa convert story. A local entertainer, Joshua Asare, aka Jae Deen, agreed to speak to Muslim Link's Sakina bint Erik about his journey.
In this installment of my column, I interview just one local convert about her experiences raising her children as Muslim while having non-Muslim parents. Dr. Aisha Sherazi was born and raised in the UK, and migrated to Canada in 2000. She hails from a Hindu family, and is of Indian origin. She writes freelance editorials in various newspapers and resides in Ottawa, Canada. She now works as a spiritual counsellor for teenagers and teachers at Merivale High School, and conducts workshops across the city on the dangers of stereotyping. She helps represent the Muslim Community of Ottawa on COMPAC for the Ottawa Police Service and sits on the board of the Islamic Social Services Association of Canada. Happily married with two busy children, she also writes poetry and fiction in her spare time
Good news for residents of rental housing in Ottawa. Under a new programme by the City, negligent landlords could receive fines of up to $100,000 for failing to ensure the safety and well-being of their tenants.
The project launched on March 1, with the City of Ottawa making multi-residential inspections in the buildings themselves, and in parking lots and grounds. At a March 5 meeting of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), Derek Petch, a City of Ottawa by-law officer said he and his team had begun inspecting more than 55 buildings in the Herongate area and would be visit other wards; noting all repair issues whether reported or not by the tenants, and issuing work orders for the landlords of those respective buildings.
The sun shone down on my family and me as we entered Brewer Park June 30, joining Ottawa Muslims and members of the greater community as they ate, shopped, and played at the Sadaqah Food Bank Food Festival, an innovative fundraising event.
People streamed in from the park's entrance and parking lot off Bronson Avenue, across from Carleton University. Large bouncy rides seen from the street invited children to come in and play while adults were lured in by the long line of tents offering food for sale.
Looking around the Atrium at Ben Franklin Place on Apr. 10, Mashooda Lubna Syed was moved at seeing so many young women being honoured for showing leadership in their communities.
“It is wonderful to be able to connect with such amazing young women and to hear their inspiring stories! It really does encourage one to push forward and take out that extra bit of time to do a community service,” she said.
A full house stood for ”˜Asr (mid-afternoon prayer) Saturday, Mar. 31, after 17 long years of waiting, in the finished lower level of the Assunah Muslim Association (AMA) Mosque. At first glance the mosque hides in the corner behind the trees which line Sawmill Creek, but when you enter the parking lot driveway, the design and height of the mosque dominates the view. A shining sun graced the afternoon as worshippers from all areas of the city arrived, filling the large tiled hall with Muslim men, women and children anxious to be the first to pray in the long-awaited building.
Ahmed Ali and his family smile when contemplating their next move. The house they will move into isn't ready yet, but thanks to the Habitat for Humanity housing program, the house will be their very own. And it comes with an interest-free mortgage.
For a family with five children -- two having special needs -- sharing a three-bedroom townhouse has been a challenge. They desperately need more space for their growing family, and so when Ahmed heard on the radio that there might be a way for him to move his family into a home they could affordably own, he began the process of applying.
Habitat for Humanity is an internationally-known initiative that helps low-income families acquire their own homes, either by renovating existing properties for them, or by building brand new homes for the families from the ground up.
Sometimes a slow start leads up to a surprising finish. Look to the west of Ottawa, to the site of the Jami Omar Mosque, where after years of what looked like little or no progress, there now stands an almost fully completed mosque.
In truth, major construction on the Jami Omar Mosque had been completed much earlier, but as with the other mosque projects, most of it occurred underground, noticeable only to careful observers. Now, that the basic structure of the mosque is complete, it is easier more those of us driving by the site to connect it with the beautiful artists' rendition of the finished building found on the Jami Omar fundraising webpage.
Sheikh Ismail officially took up his duties as imam at the beginning of November of this year. His main responsibilities are to lead the salah (prayers) each day, prepare the jumah khutbah (Friday sermon) and lead the prayers on Fridays, Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha, and conduct halaqahs (Islamic classes) in the mosque.