Muslim Link would like to thank Umm Zaynab for her anonymous contribution which sheds light on a serious gap in Muslim community services in Canada.
The loss of a loved one is something that most of us will inevitably experience in the course of our lives. It is surprising then that there are very few resources available in our communities and in our institutions to help and support those experiencing such a loss. Our mosques and institutions often seem to think that in the event of a death, their role ends with settling matters of the funeral - bathing, offering funeral prayers for and burying the deceased.
Berak Hussain discovered her passion for counselling back when she was a student at Gloucester High School.
“I was always listening to my friends' challenges and problems and doing my best to offer them support,” she says.
But like many second-generation immigrant students, she decided to study what was expected, not what interested her.
“It was either I be a doctor or I be an engineer.”
So when Berak started studying Psychology at the University of Ottawa, it wasn't because she was planning a career in counselling.
“I was told that it was a good undergraduate degree to have if I wanted to get accepted into med school,” she says.
But when the young woman discovered that people could actually get jobs listening to people and helping them with their problems, she decided to do the unexpected and pursue the University of Ottawa's Masters of Education in Counselling instead of medicine in order "to help people through the soul rather than the cell".