“I lived through the Apartheid system in South Africa where people of colour were dehumanized on a daily basis. I saw that reused in Israel for the suppression of Palestinians. As long as we treat each other as lesser human beings there is no hope for a just and peaceful world where all people are treated with respect and dignity.”
Khadija is an influential educator and pioneering grassroots community activist based in Ottawa, but her work has spread across Canada and internationally for over 40 years. She was the first-woman elected to the board-of-governors at the largest North American Muslim organization and held the position for 9 years, and she is the founding member of two organizations: Women for Peace (an interfaith group), and Expressions of Muslim Women (which showcases the creative endeavours of Muslim women.) On top of that and being a full time teacher before her retirement, she was on the board of countless other organizations and spoke at many conferences across the globe. For the past 40 years she has held weekly study circles for new Muslim women to learn about the faith and have a safe space to create community. Despite all of this, when I asked her what her proudest achievement is she told me, “being able to help Afghan Refugees during the Soviet War (1986), I was the first Muslim woman who spent time in the refugee camps helping the women and children. It was rewarding to see our assistance made a difference in their lives.” When I asked Khadija what her own favourite quality is she told me her ability to “listen to someone with undivided attention.” At the end of the day, Khadija wants to be known as someone who cares for the well being of others and to be a positive role model to fellow Muslim women.
What is most important to you and why?
"Completing an assigned task."
What is your favourite hobby or pastime?
"Curled up in a comfy chair with a book"