Amin Bhatia and his musical composing partner Ari Posner have been nominated for the Canadian Screen Awards for the last five consecutive years, including two nominations this year for Canadian TV shows. However, with no wins to show from the previous years, Amin wasn’t expecting to win this year.
The pair were nominated for their work on children’s show Let’s go Luna! and the Netflix show Anne With An E. Due to restrictions relating to Covid-19, the award ceremonies took place virtually, with the awards for children’s programming taking place a night before those for scripted performance.
“We both sat and watched on our respective laptops at our homes,” said Amin. “The night before, Let’s go Luna! did not win, so we were like, ‘Oh great, here we go, another year of nominations with no win.”
But this year, they finally did win.
“It was already a win for us to be among those five other composers who represent the finest in Canada, but the win is that extra pat on the back that says it just had that something extra that made it stand out a little bit more,” said Amin.
This was the second award for Amin and Ari Posner, as they won a Canadian Screen Award for the soundtrack to TV show Flashpoint in 2013.
The two have worked on a number of soundtracks over the years, including Flashpoint, X Company, and Anne with An E. Amin explained that he comes from an orchestral background, while Ari Posner has a jazz and pop background, so they complement each other well.
Amin, now 58, began composing at 19, but his talent and his love for music began at a much younger age. He was born in London, England and grew up in Kampala, Uganda before moving to Calgary with his family in the 1970s.
He remembers sneaking to the basement when he was 11 to watch Planet of the Apes because his parents wouldn’t let him.
“The music by composer Jerry Goldsmith was unbelievable,” said Bhatia. “Whatever he was doing and however he was doing it, I wanted to be able to write that kind of music.”
Bhatia explained throughout his adolescence he was a huge fan of movie soundtracks, and he collected almost every soundtrack of science fiction or fantasy films, “from Star Wars to Tron.”
When he was 19, his friend encouraged him to enter a composing competition sponsored by Roland Synthesizers. Winning it changed his career path from radio broadcasting to music.
Bhatia has also brought his musical talent to serve the Jamat, in the role of musical director of various orchestral projects created for Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
At the commencement of the Golden Jubilee commemoration period, he created a contemporary orchestral arrangement of the Nashid Al-Imamah, which was originally composed by Fazal Walli Nathoo Dilgir in the early part of the last century, and had it performed by members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. For the inauguration ceremony of the Diamond Jubilee commemoration, he was invited to Aiglemont with a handpicked group of Ismaili musicians from diverse Jamati traditions to perform his arrangement of the Nashid in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam, Imamat family members, and senior leaders of the global Jamat.
“Both experiences have been an amazing honour,” said Amin, adding that he was happy to express his gratitude to his parents who gave him so many opportunities to pursue music. “Their support and encouragement made the difference to me being able to be a working composer today.”
After winning his second Canadian Screen Award, he reflects on his nearly 40-year career in music so far: “There’ve been lots of ups and downs. There have been years where some fantastic projects have happened and there have been others where nothing at all has happened,” he said.
“That’s the joy and challenge of what this business is.”
Receiving Academic Awards Runs in the Merchant Family
Singaporean Azeem Merchant, 20, is an academic trailblazer with a string of awards and accolades to his name. He is completing his national service in September 2020, and will pursue medicine with the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Last year, for his GCE ‘A’ levels he received the Mendaki Excellence Award, Top Malay/Muslim Award as well as the Mendaki Award.
When asked how he felt, he humbly said, “Give your best to everything and aim to be better every day. Everyone is unique with strengths and weaknesses, so being content with your achievements is the best gift you can give yourself.”
Receiving awards is neither new for Azeem nor his family. In 2013, he scored an outstanding 284 for his PSLE – the second highest scorer in Singapore. He described how his parents have been a strong pillar of support whom he regularly seeks advice from.
His father Professor Aziz, is a naval architect and Aga Khan Foundation Scholar, and his mother Associate Professor Reshma is Head of Geriatrics with the National University Hospital.
Azeem motivates himself by visioning his future and setting goals to stay on course. He sets small goals, achieves, and most importantly celebrates them. He strongly believes in work-life balance and volunteerism. In his spare time, he can be seen volunteering with the Institute of Mental Health, engaging patients with simple art and crafts activities to bring them joy.
When sharing his inspiration to excel he cites Mawlana Hazar Imam: “you can have nothing in your pocket, and only the clothes and the shoes you wear, but if you have a well educated mind, you will be able to seize the opportunities life offers you, and start all over again.”
He also described how from a young age, he knew he wanted to follow his mother’s footsteps. She used to take him to her office where he witnessed the fast-paced hospital environment and the numerous patients she has helped.
The Far East community will be watching his progress and growth and look forward to his return as a qualified doctor in six years. All the best Azeem!
CMA (Canadian Medical Association) Awards and Nominations
The CMA Awards recognize the dedication, successes and talents of individuals who are making significant contributions to our health and health care.
The next call for nominations will be issued on Sept. 20, 2020 and the nomination period will close on Nov. 30, 2020. Profiles of recent award recipients and details about each award can be found below.
“I realized that when it comes to palliative care access for the homeless and vulnerably housed, there’s a huge equity gap.” To address that gap, Dr. Naheed Dosani helped launch PEACH, a program that delivers community-based, trauma-informed palliative care 24/7 — at shelters and on the streets — using a first-of-its-kind mobile unit.
A Female Engineer At NASA Is Conquering Mars — And Gender Equality
Surrounded by white men on a daily basis, Farah Alibay is committed to increasing diversity and the visibility of women in her field.
Farah Alibay is a female aerospace engineer in a male-dominated field, but that hasn’t stopped the 32-year-old from forging ahead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Los Angeles to help reveal the secrets of Mars.
Alibay, who grew up in Joliette, Quebec, first became interested in space when she saw the movie “Apollo 13” at the age of 10.
“I got so worried watching the movie that my parents fast forwarded all the way to the end to show me that the astronauts had survived,” she told HuffPost Quebec. “Afterward, we watched the rest of the movie. It really fascinated me to see the engineers working together, even though they were all men.”
“My brother, who had always loved space, lost all interest in it once the movie was over,” she said. “From then on, I was the space lover.”
Inspiration To Pursue A Science Career
Growing up, Alibay had few female scientist role models. But one person has had a big impact on her career path: Julie Payette, an astronaut born in Montreal who is now governor general of Canada, a position that represents the queen and carries out her responsibilities in the country.
“We barely had an internet connection when I was in the sixth grade,” Alibay said. “For me, NASA was what you saw in the movies and when there were launches. Seeing someone like Julie Payette in magazines and on the news was the only way I was able to see that people like me worked there.”
From a young age, Alibay was confronted with the reality of feeling like an outsider.
“We were the only immigrant family in Joliette,” she said, noting her parents emigrated from Madagascar. “I was the only brown girl in my school. I always had a head for science and my grades were good, but I experienced a lot of bullying.” She said those challenging years made her develop a strong personality that has since been useful.
As the leader of the Quality Assurance Department at Husaini Hematology & Oncology Trust in Karachi, Pakistan, Dr Raheela PyarAli is regularly exposed to potential Covid-19 cases.
“As a clinical pathologist, I'm working in a medical and diagnostic laboratory where pathology tests are carried on clinical specimens to obtain information about the health of a patient to aid in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases for both Covid and non-Covid patients,” said Dr PyarAli. She receives exposure to potential Covid-19 cases first while obtaining the sample, and then with the specimen itself.
Dr PyarAli was supported by her father to become the first doctor in her family. She has studied clinical pathology and has received professional qualifications in laboratory diagnostics and quality assurance.
The blood bank at the laboratory where she works is continuing its vital work of maintaining a continuous supply of blood for routine procedures and transfusions.
“In this tough situation getting safe plasma from patients who have recovered from Covid-19 to aid in the treatment of infected people is also our prime duty,” she said.
Her advice to the Jamat is as follows: "Now it’s high time we all learn how to excel in this pandemic situation… Looking forward as a responsible Jamati member and citizen, we must focus on the guidelines of Mawlana Hazar Imam regarding the rebuilding of the society in which we live.”
Secretary-General appoints Zahira Virani of Canada UN Resident Coordinator in Angola
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Zahira Virani of Canada as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Angola, with the host Government’s approval.
Ms. Virani brings more than 20 years of experience working with humanitarian and development organizations to the position, including at the leadership level. At the United Nations, she most recently served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sao Tome and Principe after occupying key positions with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). She was UNDP Deputy Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Deputy Country Director in Tajikistan, Programme Specialist in Panama, Head of External Relations in Afghanistan and Recovery Advisor in Geneva.
Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Virani worked in the non-governmental organization sector.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Whittier College in the USA and a Master of Science from the London School of Economics in the UK.
Who will President Joe Biden listen to on faith matters?
A founding board member of the Muslim advocacy group Emgage, Mitha, a member of the small but increasingly politically active community of Ismaili Muslims, served as the national Muslim outreach director for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign before being named as Biden's senior adviser on Muslim American engagement this year. He's also an alumnus of the Obama administration and advised Biden as the Democratic nominee during the primary this year.
Biden also made overtures to bring more Muslim Americans into his coalition.
Based in Dubai, UAE, Nadia Nizar Ali is currently working as an emergency nurse at the Belhoul Speciality Hospital in Dubai. Her passion for serving the community is what motivates her to remain on the frontlines, helping to fight Covid-19 as part of a healthcare team.
Nadia said her job is now more challenging than ever, both physically and emotionally, as she is working with patients in the emergency unit, some with symptoms of the virus. Her role beyond just treating patients includes communicating with them about their condition and helping express their feelings and concerns. She finds it her utmost priority to help her UAE community come out of this pandemic.
Nadia has been serving the community for many years and was a part of the Aga Khan Scouts and Guides. The programme motto, "Lend a Hand" along with her passion for serving the community inspired her to take up nursing. Nadia completed her education at the Aga Khan University Hospital School of Nursing in Karachi, Pakistan, and said she finds helping others to be one of the most encouraging elements of her profession.
Nadia’s advice for the Jamat is as follows: "Don’t be too stressed as it does not help your immunity. We are all together and we will be out of this soon. Enjoy your time at home with your loved ones, eat healthy food, and be regular in your prayers. Keep all precautions and keep loving your family, share joy and happiness, and stay strong.”
Based in Manchester, United Kingdom, Alykhan Alyan Kassam alongside his clinical and academic commitments, joined the virtual frontline, working as a clinical contact caseworker for the National Health Service (NHS) and Public Health England. As part of this additional commitment, he undertakes public health risk assessments of people who have tested positive for Covid-19, conducts contact tracing and provides public health advice including advice on self-isolating to the affected.
Alykhan's parents are Ugandan migrants who moved to the UK in the 1970s. Being the first member of his family to join the healthcare profession, Alykhan also teaches various degree level programmes including nursing, medicine and Masters’ level courses, now via distance learning, thanks to the ongoing pandemic.
He is a regular attendee at the Manchester Jamatkhana and an active volunteer also.
"Stay safe and ensure that you have at least one month’s supply of medication at home. Maintaining mental well-being is particularly important at this difficult time – take the time to virtually connect with friends and family. Even though we may not be able to physically meet our loved ones, we can still create lasting memories and reassure others that they are not alone during this crisis," he said.
Somani joins UNBC as its next VP, Finance and Administration
Prince George, B.C. – Rahim Somani, who spent more than a decade overseeing the finance and operations at the University of Central Asia (UCA), has joined the University of Northern British Columbia as its next Vice-President, Finance and Administration.
Somani began his new role at UNBC on Nov. 2.
“We are fortunate to have attracted such a strong candidate with a breadth of skills and experience and I have no doubt that he will provide the strategic thinking and leadership needed from those on our senior administration team,” said Dr. Geoff Payne, UNBC’s interim president and chancellor.
Somani comes to UNBC after spending 12 years at UCA where he played a critical role in planning and developing a multi-campus university and provided leadership and oversight to the Finance Division and university operations.
Today adidas announced that Alim Dhanji, Senior Vice President of Global Talent and Head of HR for Global Brands, will become the new President & GM, adidas Canada, succeeding Michael Rossi. Michael will remain with the company through April 2021 and coordinate a gradual transition with Alim over the first half of the year. The search for Alim’s successor is underway.
Since Michael became the President and GM of adidas Canada in 2014, he has been instrumental in driving growth across wholesale, retail and eCommerce channels in the region. Michael helped establish a culture of empowerment, development and creativity for the adidas Canada team. Previously, Michael was VP of Reebok Canada.
In the two years since Alim joined adidas, he has advanced our global talent strategy and been an integral part of our work to accelerate inclusion across the company. As a Canadian, he understands the unique attributes of the market and its consumers.
Alim Dhanji writes;
This week, it was announced that I have been appointed as President of adidas Canada effective April, 2021 taking over from a great leader, Michael Rossi.
To my team across HR and many colleagues across Headquarters, it has been a fantastic experience creating lasting change on many fronts and I’ve been truly honoured to be part of the team, working with very talented and passionate people around the world.
On returning to Canada, I couldn’t be more excited to work with another amazing team and to carry forward from the growth, Michael has led over the years. I’m humbled by the opportunity to further grow and innovate with team Canada, delivering on our company purpose to change lives through the power of sport.
I have total gratitude for this next step in my career and be a part of how adidas provides unique opportunities to develop as leaders – impossible is nothing.
Zaynah Bhanji Wins Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award
BY ISMAILIMAIL POSTED ON DECEMBER 4, 2020
“Every year, we have a challenge: to select just 100 women to receive our Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards. These are women who personify what it means to be powerful through the way they empower and champion others, influence change and stand up for all of us. And as Top 100 winners, they stand among more than 1,000 powerful leaders across Canada who share that honour… and our thanks”. Women’s Executive Network https://wxnetwork.com/
Grade 12 Student,
The Woodland's School;
RBC Future Launch Future Leaders
Zaynah Bhanji is a 17-year-old, passionate about machine learning and virtual and augmented reality. She began her technology journey at 13 and has been supported by companies like Google, CIBC, TD, Deloitte and Microsoft. Zaynah has been speaking at conferences globally in places including Dubai, Poland, Toronto, San Francisco and more. She is a huge advocate for women and girls in technology, and speaks to many to inspire them to pursue interests in science or tech.
11-year-old Muskan Jiwa of Edmonton wins national spelling bee championship
Muskan Jiwa might be too young to drink espresso, but knowing how to spell the word helped her win a national spelling bee.
Jiwa, a Grade 7 student at Edmonton's Dr. Donald Massey School, won the junior category of the Spelling Bee of Canada championships on Nov. 29. Junior spellers are aged nine to 11.
After placing third in last year's competition, Jiwa made winning her goal.
An avid reader, she spent hours preparing for the competition by looking up new words in a dictionary and studying lists of words with her mother.
"I'm really happy that my hard work paid off," she said Monday in an interview with CBC Edmonton's Radio Active.
Inventors Design Hospital Equipment and Safe Learning Spaces for Students
Innovatively repurposing filters from respirators, and reconfiguring classroom desk design to keep children in school, and safe from infection.
Last year, as word of the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread across the United States, Karim Budhwani realized that the country was not prepared to face this crisis. He joined forces with others to put out briefs identifying critical areas of shortages, especially in the supply chain of personal protective equipment. Realizing that respirator masks that protect healthcare workers from aerosolized viruses were in short supply, Karim helped design, produce, and test the inexpensive PABR (Pierce-Arora-Budhwani Respirator). He used 3-D printed adapters to equip readily available respirators with in-line filters, allowing respirator cartridges to be reused. The design for these adapters was uploaded to the National Institutes of Health 3D Print Exchange website so that users across the globe could access the design free of charge and print the adapters on 3-D printers.
As the summer approached, and school districts debated the possibility of safely re-opening schools in the fall, Karim was driven to find solutions to allow for in-person instruction while reducing the chances of viral transmission. This was important to Karim as he realized the need for access to the classrooms, especially for students from the lower socio-economic strata, who might not have access to computers and bandwidth to attend school virtually. Karim says, “We know that socio-economic disparity widens with lack of access to education, and in-person education is important, especially at the K-5 level.”
Teaming up with a friend and infectious disease expert, Dr. Craig Wilson, they used PVC pipes and shower curtains to design inexpensive desk partitions. These desk partitions are currently being used in several schools in Alabama. The desk partitions encourage collaborative learning amongst students while creating physical barriers to prevent the spread of the virus-containing droplets. The barriers are designed to be used in addition to other forms of protection, such as masks and social distancing, but they help in cases when masks cannot be worn, such as while eating or drinking. Karim says that these partitions are simple to create out of components that are readily available at general merchandise and hardware stores.
Karim is also working with Birmingham City Schools and other charter and private schools to develop best practices to maximize safety in the classroom. His guidance includes increased ventilation, reconfiguration of classroom spaces, wearing face masks, frequent hand washing, disinfecting surfaces, and maximizing the use of outdoor spaces.
Karim garnered the support of his senators, representatives, and even the Alabama Governor, to create a stimulus plan strategy, which he felt would appeal to both political parties. This plan was sent to Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell in Congress, but sadly it has not gained any momentum in Washington D.C.
With a history of creative problem solving as a scientist, engineer, and entrepreneur, Karim has had a long history of professional successes. His first start-up was in the information technology industry. Inspired by Mawlana Hazar Imam’s guidance to use his intellect and resources in helping improve the quality of life of individuals around the world, Karim channeled his efforts towards nanotechnology and cancer diagnostics. He is currently a visiting scientist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and his company, CerFlux, has recently been awarded a grant from the National Cancer Institute for its low-cost pancreatic cancer diagnostic technology, through which patients can be matched with optimal therapy.
Karim has served in numerous capacities, including with the Birmingham Jamat and with the Economic Planning Board. He was an integral member of the Ismaili Professional Network (IPN), and during his tenure as IPN Chair, he helped take the organization to 22 different countries.
Reflecting on the current COVID-19 pandemic, Karim says that history has shown us that humans have solved the worst of problems by combining our intellect and our pioneering spirit. His advice: “Calm down and come up with solutions.”
On Sunday 21st of March 2021, the Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC unveiled the Welcome Wall and declared it as Australia’s National Monument to Migration.
The Welcome Wall located in Darling Harbour, Sydney is one of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s most important and visible tributes to migration heritage. The Wall honours and celebrates all who have migrated from around the world to live in Australia. Currently there are over 30,000 names on the Welcome Wall with representation from over 129 countries.
Kevin Sumption, Director and CEO of the museum said, ‘The Welcome Wall honours the migrants who have helped shape our nation and, collectively, their stories speak to who we are as a nation. It is a celebration of multicultural Australia.
The Museum collects the stories of migrants to Australia and is one of our most important and visible ways of recognising the people behind these stories. One such story is that of Ashak and Samim Nathwani, and their Australian-born children Amyn and Rehana who were among the first Ismaili settlers in Australia in 1972 and whose names are featured on the Welcome Wall. Invited to speak at the unveiling ceremony, Ashak Nathwani reflects on his journey:
“On 10th October 1972, Shiraz, my brother, Samim and I arrived as refugees with only 20 cents in our pockets having lost all our possessions and wealth. However, our education could not be taken away. Hence pursing best in education in Australia became our ethos…
Since arriving in Australia we have been extremely fortunate to make lasting friendships and meaningful relationships with people from various backgrounds. Australia indeed is a shining example of a true pluralistic and multicultural society. And it is in this light that there are numerous individuals and families to whom we offer our sincere gratitude for the support, assistance and guidance over the past 48 years. Thank you for letting us ‘call Australia home’.”
Ashak Nathwani (AM) has had an incredible journey of refugee settlement from Uganda; passionate contribution to the Ismaili community as well as engagement within the wider Australian community, all the while achieving significant professional milestones. This journey has earned him the Order of Australia Medal “significant service to the Ismaili Community in Australia, to tertiary education in the area of sustainable design and in engineering” in 2017.
As with many of the Ismaili settlers who came to Australia from East Africa as immigrants or refugees in the early 70’s, the priority was to not only make Australia home but to be a contributing member of society. This is underpinned by the Ismaili ethic of lifelong learning and service to improve the quality of life of all.
The immigration story of the Ismaili Muslims to Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea continued as the second wave of immigrants came in the 1980’s – 1990’s from India, Pakistan and Iran settling in many of the major cities and making significant contribution to the societies in which they live. More recently, Ismailis arrived from Syria and Tajikistan creating a multicultural community united by faith and shared values. We look forward to our ongoing journey of pluralism and opportunities to enrich Australian and New Zealand society, with optimism and aspiration as the youth of our community take up prominent positions in Finance, Health, Information Technology, Academia, Government and Entrepreneurship.
Islamabad: Pakistani mountaineer Sirbaz Khan has achieved yet another milestone by scaling Mount Everest (8848 meters), the tallest peak in the world.
The expedition was sponsored by the Serena Hotels under its Adventure Diplomacy. According to a spokesman for Serena Hotels, Sirbaz is on Mission 14, a quest to become the first Pakistani mountaineer to scale all 14 peaks over 8000 meters around the world.
Sirbaz uses no supplemental oxygen in his expeditions, which is a further testament to his grit and talent. "We are proud to announce that Pride of Pakistan Mountaineer Sirbaz Khan has raised the green flag on Mt Everest.
It is a moment of immense pride and triumph for Pakistan and for Serena Hotels’ Adventure Diplomacy, which has sponsored Sirbaz through these remarkable expeditions." It said that was the seventh over 8000 meters peak Sirbaz Khan had summited and his second in the last 26 days with the other being Mt Annapurna also in Nepal. It prayed for the safe return of the mountaineer to the base camp.
Ambassador, public servant, serial entrepreneur, investor, strategic consultant, philanthropist; these are just a few dimensions to the personality and identity of Sada Cumber.
Dreams do come true, Sada reflects; as a young boy in Karachi, not from an affluent family and with eight other siblings, he would gaze at the large mansions in the city and the large cars passing by. “These belong to the rich, leaders, and ambassadors,” his mother told him. He replied, wistfully, “One day, mummy, I’m going to be an ambassador and have a big car.”
Two degrees later and with a new wife, Mumtaz, he arrived in Florida to join his three siblings. He invested in a small business, later moving to Midland, Texas, and then to Austin, and became a successful entrepreneur.
Sada identified himself as a pragmatic Republican of the party’s centrist wing, much like Colin Powell or the Eisenhower Republicans of an earlier era. He had the opportunity to interact with Governor George W. Bush and Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry. Soon he was appointed on the board of the Texas Enterprise Fund, a $200 million emerging technology fund, the Texas Business Council, as well as on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Sada became President of the Ismaili Council for the Southwestern United States, and was part of the team involved in the opening of the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center in Houston, as well as the related visit by Mawlana Hazar Imam.
In 2005, Sada took on a diplomatic post as Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Malta. Then, in 2008, President George W. Bush appointed him as the first US Special Envoy to the 57-member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
The ismaili.usa asked Ambassador Sada about his experiences as a diplomat and what he learned. He noted that these views are his own and do not represent any community or group.
Three young Jamati members selected for the National Youth Council
Izzat Bibi from Hunza, Azima Dhanjee from the Karachi and Farida Kanwal, also from the Karachi, will serve under the Chairmanship of Usman Dar, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs. Their responsibility includes empowering young people in the country who have been deprived of economic opportunities aiming to create more sustainable livelihoods for all.
Izzat Bibi, from Hunza in Gilgit-Baltistan, is the CEO and co-founder of Chkar.com, has been nominated as Member Tourism and Hospitality in the National Youth Council. Izzat Bibi and her husband launched Chkar.com in 2018 with the objective of connecting tourists with the local community. Chkar.com is an online marketplace for lodging primarily homestays, vacation rentals and tourism activities. It provides an opportunity for the local community to earn using their spare houses or rooms as well as by providing adventurous experiences.
Izzat Bibi’s mission is to empower local culture and the hospitality sector while economically uplifting the entrepreneurs of Pakistan.
Farida Kanwal, co-founder and COO of Queno, has been nominated as Member Education, National Youth Council announced by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Hailing from Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan, Farida received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology. Recently, she was also featured as one of the top entrepreneurs for 2020 in Forbes’ 30 under 30 for Asia.
Queno is a digital education platform that is currently being used by 60+ schools and 12,000+ people across Pakistan. Queno provides a platform for parents to track the progress of their children at school, monitor daily task updates and receive teacher notes to parents and much more. Likewise, Queno works to save time and reduce the workload on teachers by impacting daily tasks performed by teachers in making them more efficient, reduce paperwork and automate data storage. This app offers multiple features that can be used by teachers, parents and students alike, thus maximizing how proficiently the triangle can function in an educational space. Most importantly, Queno helps ensure safety by allowing parents to remotely follow their children.
Azima Dhanjee, CEO and co-founder of the organization ‘ConnectHear’ and alumna of the U.S. government-funded Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program has been nominated as a Social Work Member at the National Youth Council announced by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Azima is making lives easier for persons with disabilities by helping them lead independent lives by providing language accessibility through sign language interpretation. Obliged to become an adult at a very young age, Azima and her brother were their parents’ voices – interpreting conversations for them and communicating with people on their behalf. Her experiences led her to find ways, by using technology and design, to help.
She spreads the message of perseverance and adamancy, encouraging the youth to leave fear behind and work hard to achieve their goals.
Karim Sumar from EG Australia receives Queen’s birthday honour
Karim Sumar has been recognised on the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, being awarded an AM – Member of the Order of Australia, for significant service to the Ismaili community, and to the convenience retail industry.
Sumar has worked in the convenience industry for more than 20 years, currently working at EG Australia as the QSR and New Concepts Director. He also served on the board of the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) for almost 12 years, and for four of those years he was the chairman.
He balances this with extensive work serving the Ismaili community, a global, multi-ethnic community whose members comprise of a wide diversity of cultures, languages and nationalities and live in Central Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, North America, the Far East, Australia, and NZ.
His Highness the Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, and in July 2015, the Aga Khan appointed Sumar as President of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim Council for ANZ.
In 2019, His Highness the Aga Khan became the Global Founding Patron of The Prince’s Trust, and Sumar is one a Trustee of the Prince’s Trust in Australia and had the privilege to meet His Royal Highness Prince Charles during his last visit to New Zealand.
“I am overwhelmed in terms of the recognition; it was totally out of the blue and I didn’t have the faintest idea that I was even being considered,” Sumar told C&I.
“My upbringing back in Africa was quite a difficult time, so it really made me want to give back to people who were underprivileged, because I was one of those recipients. I always wanted to give back and I always laugh about it at work saying that my work is part time and that my community engagement is what is full time.”
Sumar said that he is “blessed” to have been able to find an employer in EG Australia, that recognises and supports the work he does for the Ismaili community and has committed to supporting any additional time off that is required for his community service.
“I am most humbled and honoured by this recognition. I am so blessed to have numerous individuals; my colleagues, my amazing wife Ambreen, my family and the countless volunteers in my life who give me constant support so that together we can make a difference in the lives of the communities we live in.
“This honour is also for all my colleagues in the convenience industry, this is a recognition for all our service to the industry and associations like AACS.”
From the team at C&I, we would like to congratulate Karim for this great achievement.
And keep your eye out for the August/September issue of C&I Retailing magazine, which will include a Face Time article on Karim Sumar with a more detailed insight into his life and the work he does for the Ismaili community.
Karim H. Karim designated Chancellor’s Professor at Carleton – Canada’s Capital University
BY SUJJAWAL AHMAD POSTED ON AUGUST 6, 2021
Karim H. Karim, has been awarded the designation of Chancellor’s Professor at the Canada’s Capital University.
“On behalf of Carleton University, I offer my congratulations to Dr. Karim H. Karim on this prestigious appointment,” said Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Jerry Tomberlin. “The positive impact of his outstanding research and service on Carleton and the broader community richly merit this recognition.”
The designation is the highest honour given by Carleton University for scholarship of outstanding merit with substantial international impact, research leadership and continued active participation in the development of research excellence.
“We are very proud of the incredible work Dr. Karim has done over his 23-year career at Carleton,” says Brenda O’Neill, Dean of the Faculty of Public Affairs. “His interdisciplinary research on communication patterns of diasporas, Muslims in the contexts of communication and culture and intercultural relations has had a significant international and cultural impact.”
Professor Murray, who has reviewed Karim’s work in scholarly journals, says, “His work is salutary for any global post-COVID-19 recovery.”
Dr. Karim H. Karim is a Professor at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, of which he was previously the Director (2006-2009). He is currently the Director of the Carleton Centre for the Study of Islam. Dr. Karim has also served as a Director of the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, UK (2009-2011) and was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in 2004.
The Flance-Karl Award was established in 1996 by Samuel A. Wells, Jr., M.D., who was then President of the Association. The Flance-Karl Award is presented to an American Surgical Association Fellow in the United States of America or Canada who has made a seminal contribution in basic laboratory research that has application to clinical surgery of any specialty. Source https://americansurgical.org/awards_flance_karl.cgi
Vazir Saheba Gulzar Muller Conte. Born in Mombasa Kenya 1938, Passed in Florida USA 2021.
FYI - Varasiani Gulzar, who served as Mawlana Hazar Imam's personal secretary for long time passed away today in Florida. Varasiani Saheba pioneered AKF USA’s PLG program with the launch of the DGLI program in 1993 and led it for nearly 20 years. Please pray for the ruhani - may her soul rest in eternal peace - Ameen.
Meet Noorjean Hassam, UBC’s new chief student health officer, whose passion for social justice was sparked during her undergrad years — and burns as brightly as ever.
Even over a Zoom screen, UBC alum Noorjean Hassam’s energy and enthusiasm shine through.
Noorjean (BA'92, MHA’05) is UBC’s new chief student health officer. Appointed to the role in mid-May, she oversees the health and wellbeing services that support more than 50,000 students at the Vancouver campus. This includes everything from counselling and primary care services to health promotion and education.
Ensuring that 50,000+ students have the support and services they need to stay healthy is no small feat (especially during a pandemic), but it’s a challenge that Noorjean is more than prepared for.
A graduate of UBC’s School of Population and Public Health with a Master of Health Administration — training she calls “incredible preparation” for just such a moment — Noorjean has worked in healthcare for more than 20 years. Most recently, she served as chief operating officer at the BC Centre for Disease Control where she led the logistics of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. For an entire province.
A ‘mid-life crisis’ led to start of successful Samosa-maker Aliya’s Foods
Aliya's Foods co-founders Noorudin, right, and Anis Jiwani in Edmonton on Oct. 15.
AMBER BRACKEN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL
If you’ve eaten a ready-made samosa in North America, the chances are fairly good that it was one of Anis and Noorudin Jiwani’s samosas.
The Jiwanis are the founders of Edmonton-based Aliya’s Foods Ltd., named for their youngest daughter, a business they launched 21 years ago in a modest 3,000-square-foot facility. Today, Aliya’s Chef Bombay brand is sold in most major grocery outlets in North America and the company just moved into a 100,000-square-foot facility.
They make about 100 million samosas a year, along with another dozen Indian staples like butter chicken and pakoras.”
Samosas were our first item, our entry into the market. What french fries are to McCain, samosas are to us,” says Mr. Jiwani. “And by the way, we do supply samosas to McCain.”
Aliya’s products are sold in retail packaging, club packaging and as white-label products for supermarket brands.
In Canada, they sell at Loblaws, Sobeys-Safeway, Walmart, M&M Meats and Federated Calgary Co-ops. In the U.S., which represents 85 per cent of their business, they sell through Trader Joe’s, Albertsons, H-E-B, Aldi, Walmart and Kroger.
North America-wide sales growth put Aliya’s Foods in the 315th spot on The Globe and Mail’s Top Growing Companies list for 2021 with three-year revenue growth of 101 per cent.
2021 brings another positive and resilient group of Top 25 winners
As we continue to face the ongoing impact of the pandemic, one thing the annual Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards shows us is the importance of determination — the ability of the human spirit to overcome challenges they have no control over, yet rise above them with a positive mindset.
The 2021 Top 25 Canadian Immigrants are all shining examples of this spirit.
Read their stories and you’ll see a common thread to their successful journeys in Canada — they live their lives with positive mindsets, work really hard and never give up. In this 13th year of the national awards program, all of us at Canadian Immigrant, are proud to share the stories of these inspiring immigrants
Thank you to program sponsor COSTI, for joining us this year. Our gratitude also goes to all our Top 75 finalists, our judging panel and everyone who took the time to nominate and vote this year.
CEO and founder, Xenex Consulting Inc.
City: Victoria, B.C.
Country of origin: Pakistan
Consulting for good
Zen Tharani’s life is guided by his passion to help those around him reach their potential. The digital health professional does this as the CEO and founder of digital health consulting company Xenex Consulting Inc., in Victoria, B.C. But it was his journey as a young immigrant from Pakistan that inspired his desire to help others thrive.
“As a newcomer, it is difficult to find where you belong when everything around you has changed so quickly,” Tharani says. “Everything was new and not knowing where to go for support was challenging.”
Today, he has become that point of support for others. “My consulting business focuses on providing customized services to help clients achieve their goals. The services we provide are built on my personal values of authenticity, trust and empowerment.”
He also does this as a volunteer. “I dedicate my time volunteering helping professionals within the BIPOC and marginalized communities find their footing in the digital health profession,” he says.
“I am passionate about digital health,” he adds. “Recently, I was elected to the board for Digital Health Canada, a non-profit professional association that connects and empowers the digital health professionals creating the future of health in Canada. I believe that with the right people, approach and supporting technology, we can help enhance the health care services that are provided in our country.”
Tharani is also the national chair for Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s annual World Partnership Walk. “Over 35 years, the World Partnership Walk has raised more than $125 million, in support of international development. This year, we hope to raise $6 million,” he says.
“I truly believe that volunteering in Canada provided me the opportunities to sharpen my ability to work with people and helped me build other skills while providing a sense of belonging.”
Zen Tharani’s Top Tip: “Build a profile on LinkedIn and start to connect with people. The whole point of LinkedIn is to enable networking and collaboration, so don’t be afraid to reach out. Don’t shy away from highlighting what you have accomplished [before coming to Canada]. Learning how to contextualize those qualifications and experiences is important. And for that you will need to ask for help.”
Burnaby sells 17-acre property for $136M to make way for film studio
The facility will be built at 3990 Marine Way
A massive city-owned land sale will see another film studio come to fruition in Burnaby.
The City of Burnaby says it's sold a 17.1-acre property to Larco Investments Ltd. for $136 million to make way for a 300,000-square-foot film studio at 3990 Marine Way. An adjacent road allowance is also included and located near the Riverway Golf Course in Burnaby's Big Bend neighbourhood.
“When we raised the possibility of selling this parcel of city-owned land, we made it clear that our priority was to find a partner committed to putting down roots in Burnaby and creating jobs in our city," Mayor Mike Hurley said in the announcement.
“Larco has a track record of creating industry-leading studio space and this project promises to support more than a thousand well-paying jobs in our community.”
The complex is expected to include:
Sixteen sound stages
Several mill shops
Three storeys of office space
Landscape improvements and enhancements to the riparian areas near Kaymar Creen and Glenlyon Creek
Larco has owned and operated Bridge Studios since 2007 and also has other studio sites in Burnaby under development at Lake City Way and Griffiths Drive.
Bridge Studios isn't a stranger to producing high-end content where work on television shows like Tomorrowland and ABC's The Good Doctor took place.
“With the addition of the development of the Marine Way site to our studio portfolio including Bridge, Griffiths, and Lake City, we are excited to become the largest studio operator in BC with 55 state-of-the-art custom-built sound stages as well as associated studio facilities and services for top production companies and content providers,” Larco principal Mansoor Lalji added in the announcement.
"We look forward to continuing to grow this important industry for Burnaby and B.C.”
Another film studio was proposed earlier this month when the Musqueam Indian Band, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Aquilini Development announced a massive master plan has been proposed for the redevelopment of the Willingdon Lands in Burnaby.
The plan outlines the creation of a mixed-use, contemporary Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh urban village that, if approved, would provide approximately 5,000 housing units and include a 450,000-square-foot film studio that could create more than 3,000 new, long-term jobs to the city.
Located on the southwest corner of Willingdon Avenue and Canada Way, the 40-acre Willingdon Lands lie on the shared territory of the Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh nations. In 2014, the Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh nations, along with Aquilini Development, purchased the lands from the provincial government.
House of Manji: How Nyeri Hawker Created Biscuits Culture in Kenya, Built Multibillion Empire
A collage of House of Manji Founder the late Madatally Manji (Left) and Manji Digestive Biscuits (Right)
As Madatally Manji, an Indian immigrant born in 1918, opted to venture into hawking at Karatina Market, little did he know that his decision would propel him to become one of the biggest entrepreneurs in the country’s history.
With the urge of making more money to add to his daily allowance of five cents, Manji discovered that he would capitalise on the needs of traders who were ever busy in the Nyeri County market.
In his autobiography written in 1995, Manji documented how he discovered that the traders were unable to get supplies for their stalls as they were always held up in the ever-busy market on Tuesdays.
An image of the late Madatally Manji at the House of Manji factory along Likoni Road, Nairobi in 1962.
An image of the late Madatally Manji (left) showing guests around the House of Manji factory in Nairobi in 1962.THE STANDARD
"The farmers and traders were so busy at the market selling wares that they had no time to go to the stores in Karatina to make their own purchases. I decided that I could sell them some of the things they would require at the stores and shops without having to leave the marketplace."
“I decided that on market days, I would utilise the two-hour lunch break we had from school, between 12 noon and 2pm to embark on my small business activities,” he documented.
After his schooling, Manji tried out his entrepreneurial skills working at various business outlets in Nyeri and Nairobi. His desire to have his own business led him to venture into the pastry industry.
In 1941, Manji bought the Ngara Bakery at a cost of Ksh10,000. At the time, the business tycoon realised that there would be a demand for bread given that some Kenyans were taking part in World War II (1939-1945).
"It dawned on me that when the thousands of Africans were discharged and returned home they would prefer to eat bread as well as traditional foods like maize meal," Manji documented.
To beat the demand, the entrepreneur decided to expand his bakery. However, he noted that the expansion would not help him beat the increasing demand for bread within Nairobi.
It is with this in mind that he decided to start the process of purchasing land along Haile Selassie Avenue where he later built the Whitehouse Bakery.
"I assessed the situation and decided that I would be foolhardy if I did not exploit the opportunity opening up of unprecedented demand for bread by establishing a modern bakery as soon as the war was over," Manji stated.
Despite the many challenges he faced such as the restrictions of certain ingredients such a wheat flour, which was only planted by white settlers at the time, Manji used his wits to find suitable solutions to make his biscuits known for their dark brown look.
His brown biscuits got positive feedback that eleven other bakeries in Nairobi copied his recipe.
“I bought some jaggery (brown sugar) from Kisumu and brought it back with me to Nairobi where we began experimenting with it for biscuit making. We made some biscuits for the army canteens.
"They found them very appetizing, despite the fact that they were darkish brown and quite unlike the biscuits they were used to. We went into production full throttle," he stated.
Additionally, his biscuits got international attraction that London-based newspaper, The Sunday Time, referred to him as the biscuit baron.
Due to the growth of his business, the billionaire moved to Nairobi’s industrial area in 1953 to establish the House of Manji which still remains to be a business empire to date. The company still produces Manji biscuits and the popular multibix.
Besides his busy entrepreneurial life, Manji married the love of his life, Fatima Hajee, at the age of 22 years in 1940 and had three children namely Julie Zulekha, Salim Manji, and Firoze.
After serving the business world for over 60 years, the father of three passed on September 9, 2006.
Omar Murji: 2021 Prime Minister's Award Recipient in Teaching Excellence
Omar Murji: Inspiration with Creativity, Knowledge and Humility
Year: 2021 — Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
“Omar Murji is a warm, caring, passionate, fun-loving and hardworking teacher who always goes beyond his role to enliven the curriculum in the students’ lives. He transforms student realities and empowers them to contribute to their local and global contexts, thus allowing them to contribute to the betterment of society.”
Omar takes a holistic approach to students' skills development. The focus on academic skill building and critical thinking along with real-life skills are central , but he also looks at soft skills around leadership development, life skills and the ever-growing importance of ethical literacy skills. For Omar the students' learning experience cannot be divorced from their life experiences nor the world around them. His students are asked to think of which stories are being told and which are being left out, where they fit within the narrative, how they can shape this narrative and that a better understanding of pluralism will allow us to see our differences as strengths.
In the Classroom
Omar was part of the first wave of teachers that really understood that students are digital citizens, and that the best way to reach them is to embrace the world they live in. As a result, unlike other teachers who ask students to deposit their phones in a box at the front of classroom, Omar embraces the opportunity to have students use their technology in meaningful ways . He encourages the use of many apps that allow him to gather formative feedback, engage students with virtual tours using google cardboard, develop their own project planning skills and create artistic expressions.
Omar brings academic subject matter to life. He continually finds innovative ways to engage his students. The examples are numerous. For instance, he explores history in his class through the lens of food. He uses art as a teaching tool for students to both express their learning and understand the ways in which different people at different times and places have understood their world. He took this a step further a couple years ago when he taught the concept of identity and understanding one's place in the world by having the students create an art exhibit that was showcased in a local community art gallery with a special event for parents where students explained their pieces and their learning to the audience.
This year with the switch to online due to COVID, Omar came up with an ingenious way to support his students. Realizing that with the increase in screen time, stress and a subsequent drop in energy and attention, he has created, in essence, his own television show for students. Think Mr. Dress-Up meets Bill Nye. The show itself is a mixture of content, storytelling, visuals, thought- provoking questions and puppets. The show is an additional support for students meant to allow them to engage with the material in an entertaining and education manner, at times that best fit their schedule.
The award comprises funding of $70,000 a year for 2 years to continue his research at the University of Cambridge, UK. It is awarded to 23 individuals every year whose research falls under the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The award enables Rawji to continue his research on brain repair in age-related neurodegenerative diseases.
About the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship
Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute
Burnaby's Nabil Karim lands job covering NBA and NHL for Turner Sports
Nabil Karim is continuing to make waves south of the border.
The Burnaby, BC sportscaster was introduced by Turner Sports today as their new host and reporter for the network’s NBA and NHL coverage.
Karim signed a multi-year agreement, following more than two years anchoring SportsCenter at ESPN. Sports fans in Canada will remember Karim’s work at TSN, where he was an anchor on SportsCentre until 2019, before leaving Toronto for the United States.
Karim will serve as a host for NBA TV, where he’ll make his on-air debut on NBA GameTime tomorrow night. He’ll also be part of TNT’s hockey coverage in the network’s first year as an NHL broadcast rights-holder.
TNT has set the standard for in-game panels with their NBA coverage, which features the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley. Wayne Gretzky is featured on their NHL panel.
“I’m super grateful to be in this position,” Karim told Daily Hive. “I never thought as a high schooler at Moscrop Secondary, that I would one day be working with some of the basketball and hockey greats I grew up watching. Been a wild ride but super appreciative of the support I’ve gotten from the west and east coast along the way.”
The Moscrop Secondary School product graduated from SFU as a communications major and received a broadcast journalism degree from BCIT. In addition to his work at TSN and ESPN, Karim has worked for CBC, Global, and CKPG.
“Been reflecting today. Thinking about how I would react if I told my 13-year-old self that I would one day be solely covering the NBA and NHL on a national network,” Karim said in an Instagram post this morning. “Wild. Mind blown. No way I would have comprehended or believed it. Pipe dream. It still hasn’t really set in. But it better soon.”
“It’s a crazy time for our family as we transition to Atlanta and leave Connecticut (a place that we really love), but I’m definitely taking time to appreciate the moment this morning. I’ve been a hoop head forever. Hockey is in my blood being a Canadian. My two favourite sports. 1A + 1B. And now, I get to be part it and get to create content in the special way that only Turner can.
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