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.
Now available in their Findlay Creek development, Tartan Homes’ ‘Kawartha’ model is a home that provides with unique flexibility. Accommodating to different living styles, home buyers can choose to have a living room instead of an ‘open concept’ living room.
Developed in response to requests that Tartan Homes has received from home buyers over the last few years, the ‘Kawartha’ is an example of a business listening to its customers’ needs.
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.
"The main thing is the crime. The sad thing for me to see is a neighbourhood I grew up in is always in the news for the wrong reasons, especially with names similar to mine. We need to be more proud of ourselves and fight for a better future rather than being known for terrorism around the world. We need to have more youth involvement and get our youth off the streets, doing more positive things, playing sports and representing our community in a better light."
At one time in Ottawa's history, Eva Afife Wahab was the go-to person in the Muslim community.
Born in 1914, Wahab was the first Muslim child born in Ottawa. Her father emigrated from Lebanon to Canada in 1903, and her family was the first Muslim family in the nation's capital. Prior to that, it was individual Muslims who had settled here.
A few weeks ago, I completed a month-long international development seminar with the Aga Khan International Fellowship Program. Each year the program sends young Canadians to spend 8 months in either Africa or Asia to work with agencies and partners of the Aga Khan Development Network. I will be spending eight months in Cairo, Egypt working with the Aga Khan Foundation on various projects.
Flashback 15 years earlier, I'd be in my karate outfit, talking to my family in English and broken Lebanese Arabic, and designing all of my school projects into acting scenes to prepare myself for my future acting career. I grew up with friends from all over the world, and we called ourselves “the real United Nations”. I didn't know much about my culture or about my religion, but never missed an opportunity to brag about how Lebanese food was the best!