The University of Ottawa Muslim Students Association (UOMSA) organized an interfaith session on campus on January 31st to share concerns about the Trump travel ban on seven Muslim majority countries, including Somalia, and the shooting at a mosque in Quebec City that left six people dead.
Somali Canadian Filsan Nour, the UOMSA Events Officer, shared her thoughts on recent events. This is her edited speech.
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.
Fatimah Jackson-Best is a healthcare researcher, advocate and academic. While studying for her PhD in public health science at the University of Toronto, she relocated from the city of her birth to the island where she traces half of her heritage: Barbados. Her PhD research project focuses on Afro-Caribbean women's maternal health; however, her interests also include the health of Muslim communities.
On the cold Saturday morning, on January 14th, a group of students from multiple University of Ottawa Muslim student associations rose early and went out to warm the hearts and fill the stomachs of people who are homeless in Ottawa.
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.
Farhia Ahmed, co-chair of the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, spoke on December 10th, Human Rights Day, at the IDRF Dignity Tour in Ottawa. Muslim Link has gained permission to publish her speech today, in acknowledgement that it has been six months since the death of Abdirahman Abdi on July 24th, 2016.
Mariam Nouser is an entrepreneur and blogger based in Toronto, Canada. While she is a full time student in university, she splits her free time between her presidential duties of the Ryerson MSA, running her own blog, being a Project Coach for the crowdfunding platform – LaunchGood as well as a barista for Starbucks.
In addition to her blessings, she has been the victim of Islamophobia whilst wearing the hijab and hopes to share her unique stories with everyone in order to cope with times of loss, confusion and trauma. As someone who suffers from a mental illness, she aspires to create a platform that increases dialogue within such a “taboo” topic.
Al Jamia Masjid made headlines in late December, when it became a temporary overnight shelter for Vancouver’s homeless during a cold spell that cost people their lives.
Muslim Link reached out to 22 year old Pakistani Canadian Abubakar Khan, who spearheaded the initiative, to learn more about how he and his multi-faith group of friends made such a great act of community service possible.
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.
The Racialized Muslim Women: Recognizing Resistance, Valuing Stories panel panel event at Ryerson University and streamed online explores the experiences and resistance work of Muslim women in different policy areas, work they've done with a lens of seeking social justice outcomes. They will share experiences, policy engagement and resistance work as Muslim women: what that has meant at an individual level, while situating the experience within greater discourses, policy(ies) / Canadian institutional contexts which have impacted their lives.
Join us at the panel to hear from Gilary Massa, Fathima Cader, Zunera Ishaq, and Yusra Khogali. The event will open with stand-up poetry performances by Rimshah Ahmed and Shadiya Aidid. The panel will be moderated by Thamina Jaferi. The event will also be streamed online here.
Muslim Link interviewed Binish Ahmed, the curator of the panel, about why she chose this topic and these speakers.