Meet the co-hosts

Aslam Bulbulia

Aslam is a new settler on unceded Coast Salish territories from Johannesburg, South Africa with Indian heritage. He has a background in teaching, arts activism, dialogue, facilitation and planning. 

After moving to Vancouver, he completed a Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement at SFU where he now serves as an advisor. He currently works on community engagement and leadership development around Vancouver through numerous roles including co-hosting the RADIUS Fellowship, coordinating community engagement initiatives for SFU's Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies, and serving on faculty for InnerActivist. He is constantly looking for ways to live the multiple perspectives on decoloniality he embodies with particular interests in Decolonial Islamic Studies and Liberation Theology.

Samar Pervez

A Punjabi born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents, Samar grew up in multiple countries and was educated in American schools. She has been teaching in universities since 2002 in both Canada and Pakistan and is a specialist in World Literature and Film, with a focus on South Asia. Along with teaching and researching, she is also a filmmaker, photographer, imagist poet, and activist for minority rights. After studying filmmaking at the Vancouver Film School in 2013, she made several short narrative films which have circulated in festivals worldwide. She is currently developing some short and feature-length film projects, writing a Pakistani television drama, and mentoring students in the Writing for Film, Television, and Games program at VFS.

Our Approach

The Fellowship focuses on building community, knowledge, and healing. The exchange of knowledge is a two-way process for us, and takes place with the recognition that we will learn from our Fellows as much as they will learn from us. We aim to foster a sense of community, with an emphasis on dialogue on critical topics pertaining to being Muslim. 

We come to this work recognizing the complexity of Muslim communities. Through a trauma-informed approach we will hold space for the different experiences we have as Muslims, shaped by the places we come from, our personal journeys and the multiplicity of other identities we hold. Our support will be in creating a space where these complexities can be explored through storytelling, art practices and more, with openness and compassion - for self and others. Through this we hope to host dialogues that will enrich us, and strengthen our relationships across differences while holding those differences as sacred.

Our hosting begins with the application process. This will involve a written response, as well as a group interview stage. The intention is to find the right group that will be able to learn from, and alongside one another. 

The Fellowship curriculum is emergent, based on the needs of the Fellows and responsive to the worlds around, and within us. Fellows will have the opportunity to suggest topics for discussion, lead or host sessions of their own.

As this is a community Fellowship we will guide and support Fellows in connecting with mentors in the community through facilitated dialogues with them and experiential opportunities in community. As co-hosts, we will lend support to Fellows as they imagine and implement their own community engagement projects that will be funded by CCMS.