Two of our community members were invited to President Obama’s final State of the Union Address in January 2016.
Fatima Inspires Top 5 Nominations 2018
The World Federation is pleased to announce our top 5 Fatima Inspires nominees, hand-picked by our team of five panelists! Read below to find out more about the numerous merits and accomplishments they made in the community.
Congratulations to our Top 5 Nominees
Motto: To Empower children and the globe with love and understanding of deen by the revival of the holy Quran in our day to day lives.
highest value: hard work
favourite food: Noor
superpower: sparkle and shine
life purpose: say, truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and death, are all for Allah, the cherisher of the worlds. 6:162.One beautiful day an amazing little girl was born with a hundred talents and gifts to share with all of mankind and the greatest treasure she shared with all is her golden sparkling heart. Zohra: a phenomenal human being, a mother, wife, sister, daughter, author, actor, boss, friend, mentor, creative genius. Zohra is an inspiration to children and adults of all ages and people from all walks of life. from the soulful classes she runs which bring alive the holy teachings in a way that captivates the soul and creates movement toward a godly goal, to the awe-inspiring kits she has created like the Yasin kits Quran wheel and mahe Ramadhan and muharram boxes that inspire lives of thousands across the globe.
She is a rare leader who leads by her example and actions. her passion for what she does is driven by love of Allah, Quran and Ahlulbayt and her love, joy and noor is contagious. she values each and every human being and makes them feel loved and special. she uplifts all those whose lives she touches and brings out the best in everyone.
WE LOVE YOU.
Sukaina Dada is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist pursuing a Ph.D. in Critical Disability Studies at York University. She is the Founder and President of SMILE Canada, an organization dedicated to supporting children living with disabilities and their families in the Muslim community. She founded the organization in 2008 while completing her Bachelor's Degree at the University of Toronto, where the experience of a family member propelled her to take action.
Sukaina is passionate about her work using SMILE as a catalyst to help change the way our community thinks about disabilities. Through SMILE she has helped countless parents whether it's through providing professional guidance on their child's health care, to helping advocate for their rights with their local school or mosque. Sukaina takes the time to learn about their needs and ensure that their child is living their best self.
The City of Toronto and the United Nations Association of Toronto recently recognized this work by awarding SMILE with awards in the area of accessibility and inclusion. Constantly pushing for inclusion, she is often called to deal with emergency family situations or asked to talk to the community about what more we can do for kids with disabilities. If that's not enough, she raises two children, recently co-authored a book entitled "A Bedtime Prayer for Peace" to help with greater representation of children with disabilities in children's books and, sits on the committee for Every Kid Counts.
Nominated by 5 people
Masumabai is an inspiration to many, for different reasons. She has a unique way of reaching people and guiding us to see our relationship with Allah and the Ahlulbayth (as) in a completely different way. The skills we have learnt have allowed us to grow and have a closer relationship with Allah and our Imam.
The workshops she gives are phenomenal. They have enabled and inspired us to have better relationships with our children, family and the wider community.
We have also learnt to appreciate all the challenges that Allah has sent our way. We no longer see problems as problems but as opportunities for growth. How will this challenge bring us closer to Allah? How do we grow as a person?
This new initiative way of thinking has had a profound effect on us. We have developed a positive mental attitude. That you try your best and then leave the rest to Allah.
She has provided unwavering support in all matters, particularly religious in times when it is difficult to find honest and reliable guidance in the West.
She has empowered us to make positive changes, and we feel that she has honoured lady Fatima (as) in everything she has done for us. Masumabai is the most loving, generous and kind hearted person we know and is truly one in a million.
Mehtab has been a foster carer in the UK for the last 26 years, supporting and transforming the lives of vulnerable children. She has been instrumental in raising children and shaping their lives; making a marked positive impact on their development to ensure they have the same best start in life as their counterparts. Throughout this time, she has cared for over 100 children from diverse religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds – opening her home and her heart, and creating space in her family for them. In addition to this, Mehtab has been a long serving volunteer at her local Jamaat. From teaching as a madressa teacher to leading a team as head of the kitchen for a number of years, Mehtab has been a committed individual ensuring that she always put the values and teachings of Islam into practice, and ensuring her Jamaat has always been a welcoming space.
She has been a role model to all who have engaged with her, both young and old, encouraging them all to explore community service in different ways. Through her fostering work, Mehtab has created space and opportunity for members of the community at large to see the world through a different lens, and for many young people inspired them to be more compassionate, more respectful of difference and to give back to their community. She has personally inspired me to support vulnerable young adults and children through social justice work.
Mrs Swaleha Mohamedali founded the SEN (Special Education Needs) department of Jaffery Academy, Arusha Tanzania. It is an institution that prepares special children to face the world despite their inhibitions. As the motto says "disability is not an inability" Mrs. Swaleha strives to train these children and due to that, she has raised the bar and created a 99% job employment rate for these special children with disabilities.
As an innovative and forward-thinking woman, and her commitment towards her vision and a teacher for nearly 30 years, she has received the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) International Teacher of the Year award in 2013, in Austin Texas and is responsible for the empowerment and upliftment of a few staff members as well.
Also, she is currently the Tanzanian National Chair of the International Association of Special Education (www.iase.org), a member of the committee of the Special Olympics and the advisor to the City Council of Arusha.
Despite all her achievements, she is a down to earth person with a very sweet and friendly personality. She has always assisted and created opportunities for those who she can help, myself included, and I hope to follow her footsteps as I go through life. As a famous saying goes, 'educate a woman, educate a generation!' And that is how she has inspired me by always helping people with a clean heart and the purest form of charity.
This person is worthy of the nomination because she spends the majority of her time dedicated to the special needs children of Arusha or for that matter wherever she is. She enforced the idea of a special needs unit in Arusha's Jaffery Academy and managed to get a whole 2 story building dedicated to the special needs students. Her efforts were recognized internationally in Texas in 2013 when she won the best teachers award and hence I feel it is time for us as a community to appreciate her efforts towards the Children many others just decide to ignore or abandon.
Swaleha Aunty has been a great supporter in empowering the youth of her community, she has personally helped me develop as the youth in realizing my potential. She is also the head of the special needs department at the community owned school Jaffery Academy in Arusha and has put tremendous effort in helping the disabled children in not only our khoja community but around the region of Arusha.
She has also received various rewards at international level for her outstanding achievements in the Special Education field. She is an inspiration to us and she has always been there to guide us along the way.
I had known her just before she got married by then her education level was just o'level and she had attained a course in Islamic studies in a hauza in Iran between 1985-1987. While in D'salaam, she was a religion teacher between 1989-1992.After her marriage when she moved to Botswana, she managed to get a diploma in primary day care. With her devotion for education, she enrolled for a degree course in Bachelor in education inspite of being a wife and a mother to two children and teaching Islamic studies in a school in Gaborone, Botswana 1992-2004.
After having returned back home to Tanzania, she settled in Arusha and opted to persue a masters in special needs education. After having achieved this, she managed to convince jaffery academy to have a special wing for special needs education, which today stands as a 2 story building, the only academy providing inclusive education in Tanzania.
The first teacher from KSIJ Africa Jamat awarded an international award in Texas in 2013.
She attended a couple of workshops in UK and Tanzania on leadership programmes.
Swaleha never stops her learning to date. May it be in acquiring leadership skills to chasing the local govt for the rights of persons with disabilities. She has it all. The aggression zeal, passion & vibrance is the secret to her success.
In the world which least recognizes a spiritual effort, there emerges Swaleha G M Chandoo. Full of passion, enthusiasm and vibrancy.. never sees a dead end. Her belief in GOD and herself is so powerful and that boosts her to overlook all odds & challenges.
For Swaleha it is all about
DIF-ABILITY and not DIS-ABILITY
I highly nominate the one and only international teacher awardee of Tanzania KSIJ
Meet The Panelists
Zaheeda Alishan, Educationist, AFED
Zaheeda is a talented, creative and an accomplished individual who is an Educationist, a Wife, a Mother, a Creative Artist and an Event Planner. Zaheeda is an Educationist by profession having an extensive experience of 23 years in this field. She is holding the position of the School Principal Al Muntazir Girls Primary School for the past 10 years till date, under the Central Board of Education of KSI Jamaat - Dar es Salaam. She has also held additional responsibilities as a Leader in various key positions that is as an Administrator at the Al Muntazir Special Education Needs Section and as an Operations Manager at the school under the Central Board of Education of KSI Jamaat of Dar es Salaam.
She is experienced, creative and an inspiring mentor to her teachers and is working consistently towards making a positive impact on the lives of young learners.
Zaheeda is currently the AFED Women Board Chairperson for the term 2017-2019. She has a vision to enhance and broaden the leadership capabilities in women in the community, especially in young women and to recognize their strengths, discover the power and potential in their personality and to explore into their untapped and latent talents so as to empower them to dream big and achieve their goals in life and in furtherance of Islamic and Family values within their families and in the community at large.
Zaheeda is a breath of fresh air and radiates warmth. She has worked consistently on empowering a group of girls and women so as to build the confidence in their abilities and talents, allowing them to face the world with self-esteem and courage. She encourages them to have a positive attitude and to evolve in life with their heads held high. She believes that once you look down upon yourself then no one will look up to you.
Zaheeda’s charisma, positive personality and individuality making others feel completely relaxed around her. She is surely an incredible inspiration to the women, who absorb her confidence and then aspire to be like her.
Masuma Alloo, Head of Volunteers for Stanmore Jamaat, COEJ
I have worked for 21 years under the leadership of Mulla Asgherali M M Jaffer. I have worked with the Stanmore Jamat as a head of volunteers and still working.
Massuma Kara, French Teacher, Nasimco
Massuma Kara (Panju) hails from Burundi, Africa, and grew up in Montreal, Canada. She moved to Toronto upon marriage and quickly involved herself as a teacher in the local Madrassah. Massuma has four children (six if you count in-laws) and currently works as a French teacher at As-Sadiq Islamic School.
In addition to being a founding member of the Al-Asr Program which runs workshops for children every year during the months of Muharram and Mahe-Ramadhan, she was a counsellor for the Shia Connections matrimonial organization and is a part of the Ja’ffari Social Services Board within the ISIJ of Toronto.
Ummulbanin Merali, CEO Q Fatima, COEJ
I run an educational charity by the name of Q Fatima. Q Fatima was established in 2009 and the website now houses an educational online resource centre. All material is designed to be easy to understand.
My passion is bringing the Qur’an to life and therefore we at Q Fatima have created Qur’an City where you navigate through the streets and buildings learning about the stories and concepts narrated in the chapters, and much more.
Q Fatima also engages with other educational institutions, training their teachers and providing relevant teaching resources. We also run QPid, a matchmaking service.
I also head Hujjat Saturday Workshop, and am an executive member of Harrow Inter-Faith.
Madiha Raza, Humanitarian Aid Worker,
Madiha Raza has a wealth of humanitarian experience, specifically within international development, where she has worked with a variety of international NGOs, including United Nations Association, Islamic Relief, Malaria Consortium, Swedish Development Advisers and presently, Muslim Aid.
In addition, Madiha has valuable on-the-ground experience and has visited many countries affected by war, disease or natural disaster. Over the last few months, she has returned from newly liberated Mosul in Iraq, also Bangladesh, where she delivered aid to thousands of persecuted Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar due to ongoing violence and Syria where she’s worked with internally displaced people.
Click here to see all Nominations for 2018.
Meeting with His Eminence Ayatollah Al-Sistani
I would like advise the dear youth – for whom I am just as concerned as I am for myself and my own family – with eight recommendations that lead to complete felicity in this life and the next