Dr. Abdalla Idris Ali was born in Sudan and immigrated to Canada in 1977 as a graduate student at the University of Toronto, pursuing his Ph.D. in International Relations. His work in education began as a teacher of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Islamic Centre of Toronto. In 1982, he laid down the foundation of the first full-time Islamic school in Canada and served as the Principal of the Islamic Community School. Dr. Abdalla Idris was later appointed to the Executive Council of the Islamic Society of North America and then elected to its consultative body. This led him to serving as President of ISNA from 1992 through 1997. He is also a founding Board member of the Council of Islamic Schools in North America where he developed and implemented Islamic and Arabic Studies curricula for elementary and junior high students. In 1998, Dr. Abdalla Idris moved to the United States as a curriculum consultant to the Universal Foundation, and then was appointed Director at the Center for Islamic Education in North America in Kansas City, Missouri. He also became a member of the Board of Trustees I.B.E.R.R., a unique organization headed by Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens which services minority communities in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Britain, South Africa and Nigeria. Upon returning to Canada in 2008, Dr. Abdalla Idris started serving as the Secretary General of ISNA Canada. For the last 10 years, Dr. Abdalla Idris has chaired the ISNA Education Forum that attracts more than 250 schools and close to a thousand teachers every year. In 2017, he decided to retire, however the community asked him to stay on as Director of Outreach and Community Development. Today he is serving as the Senior Community Relations Adviser.
Zainab is a Deals Partner & Inclusion Champion at PwC Canada and a CPA, CGA. Her professional excellence led her to be one of the youngest to be admitted into PwC Canada’s Partnership. An advocate for women, Zainab co-sponsors PwC’s Women in Leadership Program, mentors young professionals and speaks on panels about the importance of gender equity in the workplace. As an Inclusion Champion, Zainab leads by example to foster an inclusive culture and empower employees to bring their whole selves to work. During her partner admission process, she made the decision to wear her hijab and has spoken openly about this very personal decision, inspiring many to live authentically. Zainab has two daughters who inspire her to make the world a better place for future generations. Zainab is an active member in her community, involved at her children’s school, her mosque and with various charities. She is often volunteering with her family, and in 2017, travelled to Iraq with them to deliver donations to Dar-al-Zahra Orphanage.
Syrian-born Arab-Canadian entrepreneur Mohammad Al Zaibak is a co-founder of several information technology services companies in Canada and abroad, and was the principal private-sector architect and co-founder of Teranet Inc. Mohammad is President of Canadian Development and Marketing Corporation, Member of the Board of Governors of Ryerson University, Founding Luminary and Director of Luminato Festival, Founding President of Bay Tree Foundation, and Founding Director and President of Lifeline Syria. He is the immediate past Chair of the Board of Directors of Canada Arab Business Council, and Founding Director and CEO of Teranet Inc. He also served as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the ROM, and as Member of the Boards of: Waterfront Toronto, Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Toronto Community Foundation. Mohammad was the recipient of the Toronto Region Builder Award from the Toronto Region Board of Trade (2018), and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) and Golden Jubilee Medal (2002). He is a graduate of the Harvard School of Business Administration (HBS OPM XII) and holds a B.Sc. in Telecommunications and Electro-Physics Engineering (Alexandria University).
SAIMASCORNER is a brand created by Saima Khan – a social media influencer known for her fashion blog and hijab tutorials. She graduated from University of Toronto majoring in sociology and minoring in anthropology and psychology. From an early age, fashion was her passion. Growing up as a hijabi woman in a western country, Saima felt restricted with her options and styles when it came to fashion. This is why she wanted to create her own brand revolving around modesty. Saima’s goal is to inspire others to feel and look confident in modest clothing. Her mission is to offer great quality clothing in a variety of styles and colours to accommodate for various personal styles. She strives to provide women all around the world with hijabs, accessories and modest clothing. As a result she hopes to empower women by making them feel and look confident while dressing modestly.
Acknowledged as one of Canada’s most accomplished NGO CEOs, Bernie Farber’s career spans more than a quarter century focused on human rights, pluralism and inter-ethnic/faith/race relations. Recognized and called upon by the courts, media and law enforcement as an expert in human and civil rights he is one of the few in the field to be accepted by Canadian Courts as an expert in hate crime, white supremacy and anti-racism. His efforts have been documented in numerous Canadian Human Rights publications, books, newspapers, film documentaries and magazines. Mr. Farber has successfully run large NGO’s and Foundations such as Canadian Jewish Congress, the Paloma Foundation and the Mosaic Institute all focused on social justice and human rights. He has worked closely with the Canadian Muslim community in countering all forms of Islamophobia. He is a skilled consultant on matters of social justice, and he writes for various newspapers in Canada and the USA. He is Chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and sits as an advisory board member of Human Rights Watch Canada. He chairs the Rights and Ethics Committee for Community Living Toronto and is a former co-Chair of the Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate.
The Syrian Kids Foundation (SKF) is a Montreal based charity that provides free education to Syrian refugee children in the city of Reyhanli, Turkey. Located 5 kilometers from the border with Syria, the region has seen a large influx of Syrian refugees since 2011, where asylum-seeking families soon discovered they had no access to education for their children. In 2012, the SKF created the Al Salam school, providing employment to over 100 Syrian refugees, where approximately 2000 Syrian children are in attendance. The school provides a safe and nurturing environment where children have dignity and peace after so much hardship. The SKF also cares for its students even after graduation from Al Salam, partnering with Concordia University in Montreal to provide scholarships to 5 recent Al Salam graduates who are currently in pursuit of bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering.
Dr. Ambaro Musse Guled arrived to Canada in 1991 with a degree in Medicine, specializing in gynaecology and obstetrics. She initially worked many odd jobs and volunteered in Brantford and Toronto. Since 1993, Dr. Guled has worked at Toronto’s Regent Park Community Health Centre as a Community Health Worker/Case manager helping immigrants, newcomers and refugees with settlement services, health care, accessibility and advocacy issues related to health, education, immigration, legal, and social services. She helps run programs, such as the African men’s group, advocacy for single mothers, Newcomers Homework Club for children, and adult ESL. Her hard work has been acknowledged by the Wadajir Ramadan Award (2000), Ve’ahavta Tikkun Olam Education Award (2009), Canada’s Citizenship Award (2010), RPCHC 25 Years of Service (2018), and others. She is a proud Canadian citizen, helping and advocating for people who need assistance integrating into Canadian society. Ambaro works to support individuals of all ages, regardless of their faith and culture.
Mustafa Ahmed, also known as Mustafa the Poet, is a 22 year old Grammy award winning songwriter & activist from Regent Park, Toronto. He’s created social projects for his city with Drake & has co-written songs with The Weeknd, Camila Cabello, Usher, James Blake & more. A song he co-wrote, Sucker by the Jonas Brothers, debuted at #1 on the billboard 100. He collaborated with the power fashion house Maison Valentino on their (FW 19/20) women’s collection, his work was embroidered on over 40 pieces in the collection. He sat as the Ontario representative on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s youth council. He was the Poet Laureate for the 2015 Pan American games & is a TD scholar. He’s currently completing his debut music project.