The Sisters Project combats negative stereotypes of Muslim women by showcasing the diverse stories of inspirational women across Canada, while also creating a space of inclusion and belonging for all self-identifying Muslim women to embrace and celebrate their unique identities

Created by Alia Youssef



“I can honestly say that leaving the world in a better state than when I first entered it is something that has always been my driving force. For the past 20 years the Ralph Waldo Emerson poem entitled ‘Success’ accurately describes the values that I strive for. [Scroll down to read the poem]”

Haniya is the lawyer for the Department of Justice Canada and mother of four. She was born and raised in Canada and jokes that she loves the country so much she made it her career. In addition to being a lawyer and a mother, she does community work that focuses on “creating cross-cultural dialogues that help dispel myths and create a better understanding of each other in an effort to maintain our country's strength and success.” Her work with The Silk Road Institute is an example of that passion. Haniya’s favourite place to find herself is at her family cottage on the lake immersed in nature, with her husband who makes her laugh to the point of hiccups, and her kids who she likes to “shoot the breeze” with. When I asked Haniya how she’d like to be perceived she told me, “I hope to always be able  to take open and honest criticism and I do welcome that as for me the project or task at hand is always the number one priority and the ego should take a very distant back seat.  As humans that can be a struggle so I try to check myself regularly to ensure that pride doesn't get in the way.  At home a very frequent phrase I tell my children is please "speak freely" do not worry about offending me as long as you speak in a kind respectful manner... speak your heart.” 


“What is Success?

To laugh often and much; 

To win the respect of intelligent people

and the affection of children; 

To earn the appreciation of honest critics

and endure the betrayal of false friends; 

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by

a healthy child, a garden patch

or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed

easier because you have lived; 

This is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Q&A Feature:

What is a fun fact about you that you haven’t told me yet?

"Back in University I used to write and act in comedic short plays with my friend."

What is one thing you know for sure?

"What you get out of life and love is what you put into it."