“I HATED English, which makes the whole poetry thing a surprise even for myself,” shared Ali Awada about his unlikely success as a rising star in Ottawa's Spoken Word scene. Ali, 23, grew up in Detroit, the son of Lebanese parents who decided to move to Canada when he was 10. Ali broke onto the scene at Capital Slam in December 2012. He placed second in his first ever competition, and then won first place the next week. Ali took the stage name ”˜Ali Islam' and “the rest is history.” He has performed at Muslim community events from high school Eid Dinners to the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) Eid Festival, and recently opened for YouTube sensation FouseyTube in Montreal during his Canadian tour. You will find Ali performing solo or in the hip hop group House of Halaal with Jae “Deen” Asare.