- Events & Stories
Meet the 2019 Cohort
Mustaali Raj is an interdisciplinary creative whose focus lies at the intersection of concept development and visual design. As an engineer turned designer, his work sets a balance between left and right brain thinking. Being both a ‘third culture kid’ and an avid traveller, his sense of belonging extends well beyond geographic boundaries. He currently serves on the executive board for the Graphic Designers Association of Canada (BC Chapter) and actively contributes to social causes such as the BC Law Union and Islamophobia Hotline. In summary, he is a circle, living in a square, drawing triangles.
Marta Miazek recently graduated from law school at Dalhousie and is completing her articling term at a large multinational corporate law firm. For the past 8 years she has volunteered in various capacities with organizations that support the resilience of vulnerable sectors through outreach and education. She’s particularly passionate about mental illness and anti-racism advocacy. As a first generation Polish revert, she is committed to working with communities to increase allyship and take ownership of privilege. During her undergrad, Marta saved money to solo backpack through over 40 countries (her favorite are Bosnia and Japan). She’s obsessed with her two “exotic” cats, flea markets, tea and Beyoncé.
Moatasim Tungekar completed his BA in Political Science at the University of British Columbia, and is pursuing an MA in the same discipline—with a focus on freshwater resource management policy—at the University of Victoria. He currently works at Environment and Climate Change Canada and has previously worked at the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources, as well as the Vancouver Island Health Authority. His academic interests are various, and include project management, public policy, philosophy, history and historiography, and classical literature. An evening of relaxation usually involves cooking up a feast, family time, hiking and stargazing.
LinkedIn: Moatasim Tungekar
Aniqa Shahid grew up in Karachi and has lived in Vancouver since 2012. She is a life science professional and her research focuses on HIV/AIDS molecular biology and epidemiology. Her passion to engage with the community has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and mentorship roles. She helps immigrant and refugee families become self-sufficient and adjust to life in Canada. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and reading.
LinkedIn: Aniqa Shahid
Doaa Jamal is a freelance graphic designer and photographer. Her professional expertise lies in creating dynamic visuals for individuals and organizations eager to understand their identity through the power of colour, shape, and symbolism. And through the scope of her lens, she captures small moments in time to create big expressions of personality. Each of her portraits is a welcome window for endless stories and emotion. Between projects, Doaa experiments with Arabic calligraphy and type, mixed media fabrication, and travel photography all from her point of practice in Vancouver, BC.
Nada Elmasry is a Libyan-born Palestinian who came to the unceded land of the Coast Salish people just over 10 years ago. She currently oversees the refugee and new Canadian support programs at SFU. She enjoys her work with newcomer students and is passionate about advancing equity work on campus. Nada is also involved in other programs and initiatives such as Beyond Borders: Refugee Livelihood Lab at RADIUS, The Inner Activist, and Fresh Voices Initiative of the Vancouver Foundation, which offers a way for racialized youth across B.C. to engage in dialogue and action to identify and remove barriers to their success. Nada is pursuing Master’s in Equity Studies in Education at SFU. In her free time, Nada enjoys playing, watching and talking about football (soccer).
LinkedIn: Nada Elmasry
Ghada Dbouba (Pronouns: She/Her) has been living on unceded Coast Salish lands since 2013 when she moved here to attend university. She recently graduated from UBC where she completed her bachelor’s degree in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. Prior to this, Ghada spent most of her years in Libya as well as Egypt and Jordan and holds all of those places close to her heart. She currently works at YouthCO HIV and Hep C Society as the peer education coordinator where she connects with youth around the topics of sexual health and harm reduction. When she has free time, Ghada likes to hide in various coffee shops, read a book, try a new recipe, and give her friends tarot readings.
Munifa Ahmed moved to Canada in February 2017 from Saudi Arabia, originally Ethiopian. She has lived all over, from the Sahara desert to the horn of Africa up to the far west coast of Canada. The rich exposure of different cultures and languages has increased her awareness and developed her leadership. In Toronto, she volunteered and worked in shelters supporting newcomers through their transition phase. She holds a Web Development Certificate from BrainStation and Business Office Skills Certificate from Centennial College along with three years of administration and marketing experience. Currently she is pursuing her passion of utilizing technology to create social, environmental and business solutions. By utilizing every opportunity for growth, since moving to Vancouver in June/18, she joined the Beyond Borders cohort at SFU and founded the SmartMeat App to address one of the major global problems climate change and climate migration. For more info, kindly check our YouTube video
Shameela Zaman (Pronouns: She/Her) grew up in Ontario and moved to British Columbia less than a year ago. She is a social worker with the Fraser Health Authority. In the past, Shameela has worked alongside self-identifying Muslim women and women of colour to create spaces for safety, creativity and resilience. When she’s not stressed about paying off her student loans, you will find her reading books by folks of colour, searching for the perfect donut (Cartem’s takes the lead right now!), discovering new hiking trails or dabbling in new art forms. She also loves watching reruns of the Mindy Project.
Sarah Munawar is a Pakistani-Muslim and settler living on and sustained by the occupied and unceded land and waters of the Coast Salish people. She is a PhD candidate in political science at UBC and political science instructor at Columbia College. Her research focuses on designing a feminist ethic of care through the tradition of de-colonial Islamic thought that centres the experiences of disabled Muslims and care-givers situated in relations of dependency care. From teaching courses at UBC on religious feminism and contemporary political theory, to supporting the Revolutionary Love Project as an ethics research fellow, Sarah enjoys co-creating and imagining spaces for de-colonial knowledge production and critical inquiry that tends to and cares for the plight of Hajar and Maryam in the desert. Through her praxis as a political theorist, primary care-giver, and educator, she dreams of building a world in which inter-faith and intersectional communities of care bloom infinitely, the responsibility of care is equally shared, primary care-givers are cared for, labours of care are rooted in a de-colonial ethos, and everyone has equal access to quality and dignified care in times of need. Twitter: @SarahMun0
Fatima Ahmed is a scientist in the field of antibody discovery at one of the fastest growing startups in BC. She's worked in the healthcare and biomedical research field for 9 years across multiple countries. For the past 7 years she has been volunteering in various capacities with local organizations and agencies that build community and support vulnerable youth, immigrants and refugees. She's had the privilege to travel and experience twenty countries, which has fuelled her passion for global health and social justice. Fatima loves to read, paint, and fill free time with good food. LinkedIn: Fatima Ahmed
Muhammad "Asad" Asadullah is a reflective practitioner who offers workshops on Restorative Justice and Compassionate Communication in prison, university & community settings. He was chosen as the 2018 Contemplative Social Justice Scholar by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, USA. Asad dreams of living in a community where contemplative practices of diverse heritages and traditions are welcomed. He is an active board member of Vancouver Association for Restorative Justice and Salish Sea Empathy Society. Asad is a new settler on Coast Salish territories of Muslim and South Asian heritage. Currently, he struggles with two addictions - coffee and basketball. LinkedIn: M. "Asad" Asadullah
Abeer Yusuf is a journalist, writer and community builder currently living on unceded Coast Salish Territories. Abeer migrated to Canada five years ago to pursue her second Masters in Journalism at UBC, and her body of work includes examining identity and belonging, the intersectionality of race and culture, and learning about how we belong (or don't) in places and spaces. Her interests include learning about different models of decoloniality, authentically building connections and community, reading and friendship. Living between Vancouver and the Internet, Abeer is dearthly terrified of writing bios, and her passions include telling and listening to stories, beating Google Maps' walking estimates, gushing about moments of serendipity and eating chicken biryani. Twitter: @aboutabeer
Lina Abouzaid is a healthcare management professional working on physician engagement and healthcare organizational development. With a background in pharmacy and a Masters in Health Administration from UBC, she’s worked in the healthcare field in Egypt and Canada in the non-profit, public, and private sector for the past 6 years. Lina is passionate about improving access to healthcare service for minority and high-risk populations. She loves traveling, reading, and binge-watching shows. LinkIn: Lina Abouzaid
Azlan Nur Saidy is an urbanist and health promotion advocate who is driven by a curiosity of the intersection between urban planning, health and sustainability. With a degree in Health Sciences from Simon Fraser University, Azlan is passionate about creating well-connected, inclusive and engaged communities. He has been a research assistant at SFU’s Semester in Dialogue and CityStudio, helping to create outdoor learning opportunities in Vancouver’s city parks. He is currently a research coordinator at SFU’s CoHeaRT lab, where he assists in the study of how socio-economic factors and the urban built environment can affect population health. Azlan enjoys thinking, reading and having conversations about intersectionality, decolonization and what it means to be Muslim. In his spare time, Azlan enjoys hiking, cycling and dragon boating. LinkedIn: Azlan Nur Saidy
Muhsin Hamzah is a Malaysian-Canadian Muslim, who grew up in Kuala Lumpur and moved to Vancouver in 2015. Ever since embarking on this new journey, he has worked his way up from being a restaurant waiter to becoming an IT professional and Director for Vancouver Madinah, a youth led initiative that seeks to unite and empower Muslim youth in the Greater Vancouver Area. From participating in the fellowship, Muhsin hopes to discover new perspectives to engaging Muslim youth and building a platform to meet their social and spiritual needs. In his spare time, Muhsin enjoys watching basketball and spending time in the beautiful outdoors of British Columbia. LinkedIn: Muhsin Hamzah
Maisaloon Al-Ashkar ميسلون الأشقر (Pronouns: she/her/hers) is a 22-year-old whose ancestors of Palestinian farmers, liberation struggles and refugees inform her unapologetic diligence to disrupt all systems of oppression. She’s an immigrant-settler on unceded and occupied Coast Salish Territories, committed to translating this awareness into solidarities that actively work to support Indigenous sovereignties on their own terms. She‘s the women's centre coordinator at a pro-choice and LGBTQIA/2S-inclusive feminist organization rooted in intersectional anti-oppression. She’s a member of SFPIRG's Board, a social and climate justice centre on campus, through which she initiated the Racialized Resistance and Healing Action Group. A recipient of the Rosemary Brown Undergraduate Award in Social Justice as well as the Robert C. Brown Award for outstanding academic achievement and leadership at SFU, Maisaloon graduated with a double major in First Nations Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Her greatest honour is continuously learning from and with IBPOC beloveds through grassroots efforts.