A recent conversation with Dr. Aliaa Dakroury left my neurons firing in all directions, trying to forge the synaptic connections that would allow my brain to process the contributions of this exuberant dynamo of a woman.
It was twilight, when we long to draw the curtains and lull ourselves into an evening peace but two minutes into the conversation my heart was pumping with the same adrenalin that pulsed through her veins as she proclaimed the need for Muslim women in Canada to be visible and audible ambassadors of their faith.
Dr. Dakroury cannot be said to be tentative in her opinions. To her credit, she has passionately held convictions on the myriad roles that Muslim women should play in North America, or anywhere, for that matter.
In the dark days that followed September 11, 2001, as the precarious relationship between Islam and the West rapidly deteriorated, a diverse group of Muslim women from the Ottawa area gathered to confront the new reality of greater suspicion, mistrust, and scrutiny.
Confronted by openly hostile chatter in the media and on the street, this disparate collection of women united both by their faith and a fierce pride in their shared identity as Canadians, contemplated their options and deliberately declined to accept defeat by shuffling off, heads bowed, into the shadowy realm of the lost.