“Because I’m Indigenous, I feel wherever I go in Canada that I am accepted. If not willfully, then forcefully lol. Because of my heritage, I get 2 stereotypes wherever being an addict Indian and a terrorist Muslim. So, people may see me as such. But in Edmonton I don’t feel that.”
Fatima is 29, is a kindergarten teacher at an Islamic school, and is raising two young, beautiful children. She is pictured in the MCE Mosque in Edmonton because “it’s a place I’ve been coming to since I became a Muslim in 2008. I’ve seen it grow. I’ve met lifelong friends who now have kids that grew up with mine. I go for talks and events and dinners. I clean it, I tidy, I turn lights off and on, put the Qurans away. I help with open houses. It’s a home for me. I have a special place for it.” To Fatima, family is everything. She said, “When you have kids, that’s all you live for. You do everything to protect them. You do everything to make them happy. With a spouse, it’s the same. They are your world. Everyone who doesn’t see them like you see them is crazy.” She loves being creative, especially “writing, painting, colouring, drawing, doing henna, playing around with hairstyles on [her] girls’ hair and nieces.” She also is a polygot who speaks English, Cree (her native language), Arabic and some Moroccan. She said, “Assalamu alaykom. Tansi. Bghiti chi hajja? Bon chance! (In no particular order)” Her own favourite quality is her empathy. She told me, “I always try to put myself in other people situations, no matter how difficult it my be. What if this was me? What would I do? How would I feel? What would comfort me? What would make things worse?” Her proudest achievement is completing the fifth pillar of Islam, Hajj.