Somali Canadian student Sahra Jama lives in Vancouver and is new to organizing demonstrations. But when she learned about the exploitation of African migrants in Libya she felt she had to act. With the support of Black Lives Matter Vancouver, she was able to mobilize around 100 supporters for a demonstration in solidarity with African migrants in Libya which took place on December 16th in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Muslim Link interviewed Sahra about her initiative, the African migrant crisis, and why she hopes more Muslim Canadians will speak out about what is happening to African migrants in Libya.
Muslim Link has been given permission to publish the true story of how one Baha'i refugee family was supported through MFB's Aspire Program which pairs volunteer caseworkers with families in need in order to help them navigate social services in BC.
Somali Canadian Yasmine Mo is pursuing a Master’s in sociology at the Université de Montréal. Her thesis explores the social realities of Black Muslim women living in Montreal, the contributions of these women to Quebec society. The intersection of anti-Black racism, sexism and Islamophobia are at the centre of her studies.
Yasmine Mo spoke at a demonstration organized on November 18th by African Canadians in Montreal in the wake of recent reports that have hit mainstream media about the abuse, exploitaiton and in some cases enslavement experienced by African migrants in Libya, as situation that Amnesty International has described as "horrific".
Muslim Link had the opportunity to interview Pakistani Canadian YouTuber Aima Warriach who wears niqab. Her profile as part of The Sisters Project by artist Alia Youssef recently appeared in The Globe and Mail. Aima is the winner of the Create Dialogue Challenge via Adobe 1324 and TEDxTeen. She is also a 2017 MAX Gala finalized in their Film for Change video competition. She writes and does graphic design for MuslimGirl. She is currently studying politics and governance at Ryerson University in Toronto.
The Ontario Physiotherapy Association is currently running a campaign called ##PhysioHelpsLives to educate Ontarians about physiotherapy.
Muslim Link spoke to physiotherapists Mohamed Fouda and Keltouma Nouah. Fouda is the manager of Prime Physio Plus Clinic in Ottawa and Nouah is a recent graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Master in Physiotherapy program who works at the Prime Physio Plus Clinic. We asked them about physiotherapy’s benefits, why more Muslims should consider seeing a physiotherapist, and why Muslim youth should consider a career in physiotherapy.
October was Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) Awareness Month. According to the Toronto Brain Vascular Malformation Study Group: "An AVM is a tangle of abnormal and poorly formed blood vessels (arteries and veins). They have a higher rate of bleeding than normal vessels. AVMs can occur anywhere in the body. Brain AVMs are of special concern because of the damage they cause when they bleed. They are very rare and occur in less than 1% of the general population."
The risk of bleeding with AVM increases as a person ages. The typical age of discovery is between the ages of 20 to 40. Bleeding can often result in stroke, resulting in permanent disability and even death. There are treatments to reduce the risk of bleeding. The cause of AVM is unknown but it is believed to develop in utero and affects all races and genders.
Muslim Link took the opportunity to interview a young member of Ottawa's Muslim community Anne-Marie Lavallee, about her experience as someone with AVM in order to help our readers better understand a condition which, although rare, can have a serious impact on the lives of those who live with it.
"I just want a young Black Muslimah to look at my art and not feel alone or die of starvation for representation." – Somali Canadian artist Riya Jama
"When people show you who they are, believe them the first time." – Black American writer Maya Angelou
Recently, some non-Black Muslims have expressed their outrage to me over the fact that there are currently no Black Muslim Canadians nominated for the Muslim Awards of Excellence (MAX Gala) taking place this fall in Toronto.
I was even asked to come up with a list of accomplished Black Muslim Canadians in order to shame MAX organizers.