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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

Shahira

Shahira

“I get my energy from people. I can be a friend with a teenager, adult or a senior and it is always fun with my diverse group of friends.”

 Shahira is 45 and works for a non-for-profit settlement services organization managing a new pilot program for immigrant women that helps them start or expand their businesses. She told me, “Being an entrepreneur myself coming to Canada back in 1997, I am well aware of their situation and I can feel their needs and struggle in their new county. I come to work every day passionate to help and serve these newcomers. I feel so proud seeing them succeed, integrate and be a new contributing member of their new county.” After battling a serious illness recently, her life perspective changed tremendously. She told me she now “appreciate[s] the life god granted [her] for a second chance, not wasting any minute of it by omitting unnecessary events/situations and focusing on the important ones who contributes positively to [her] wellbeing.” Some of the things that bring her joy are reading, jogging, yoga, and socializing with family and friends. Her own favourite quality is her “positive attitude even when it gets really dark.” When I asked Shahira what her proudest achievement is she told me, “My husband (Amin), 2-month old daughter (Habiba) and I came to Canada 21 years ago. We came from very a comfortable life in Egypt. We never saw struggle until we came here as students. We got to know that to achieve what we want; it will take a lot from us as a family. We were able to preserve our small family with our faith and identity while achieving our professions. I am so proud looking at my family now, after so many years and see what we have gone through to reach this stage. We have gone through many challenging situations, but we were able with Allah’s guide to overcome them and prove our perseverance.” What’s most important to her is “being able to hold myself up when I suddenly stumble –I believe that Allah is with me and gave me the strength to face a lot of the challenges since we came to Canada – this keeps me going to live the life I want so I can add value/contribute to our society.”

Arisha

Arisha

Maryam

Maryam