“Life is too short. So don’t waste it doing un-productive things.”
Shahin is 45, a mental health professional at Victoria Mental Health and Addiction Centre, a trauma counsellor at Victoria Women Transition Program, and has a private practice as an art therapist for women experiencing trauma related issues. She also volunteers extensively for the Red Cross Society, BC Girls Guides of Canada, BC Muslim Association of Greater Victoria, and she is the founder and coordinator of Haqq Education & Resource Services Foundation (HERS), “a non-profit program was developed for marginalized ethnic women who are receiving Social Assistance Services. The program will be offering free community education and resources in the client’s first language before appropriate community referrals are made.” When she is not working or volunteering, she loves doing yoga, travelling, and painting. This year she showcased her paintings throughout Victoria’s art galleries. When I asked Shahin how she feel’s she is perceived in Victoria she told me, “I have faced many challenges in getting jobs I believe I have the skills set for a very long time. So, that’s why I choose to return back to school to advance my knowledge and skills. I believe discrimination continues to exist for women of color in the work force even though it is not verbally said out loud. To be successful here one has to be self-employed and work part time as well or you have to have connections to get the good jobs. I also believe, as a woman of color I have to always to be on top of my career goals in order to advance it.” Shahin told me she would like to be perceived as an “empowered woman who has been blessed with many skills.”
What is most important to you and why?
“The most important things I believe is to feel appreciated, or acknowledged by people around you and in return to be thankful, mindful and show gratitude towards others.”
Where is your favourite place to find yourself?
“Favourite place would be while painting privately or while chatting with my family members.”