Select Page

How Round is your Roti at first annual Voices of Muslim Women Film Festival

How Round is your Roti at first annual Voices of Muslim Women Film Festival

Last week Kwantlen Polytechnic University hosted the first Voices of Muslim Women (VMW) Film Festival as well as the first annual Muslim Woman of the Year Awards. VMW creates a space to open up conversation amongst a diverse group of Muslim women. Women of all ages sat together once a week for four weeks to create digital stories highlighting their individual experiences as Muslim Women.

Summan Kandola with Executive Director of the HOPE Project, Nidha Yaqub

Aisha Aimje, Instructor & Program Coordinator, The Visual Media Workshop

The program was lead by social justice visionary Aisha Amijie. “Digital, visual and multimedia literacies are emerging and invaluable skills that are increasingly being mandated at provincial and federal levels of government and within the educational theory. We can no longer think of ‘literacy’ as learning to read words on a page but must think of it as learning to read and write through photos, video, sound, music, animation, and interactivity.” – Aisha Amije.

Students explored many diverse topics relatable to POC/WOC (people of colour, women of colour) within and outside of the Muslim community. Digital stories tackled social justice topics of race, marriage, gender roles, mixed race families, legacies, body image, and bullying.

“Live your life by your own rules, you do not need to wear a hijab to be considered a Muslim woman”
Zakiyah Shafique

Participant Sharina Mohammed took a comedic approach to out-dated judgments and expectations Muslim women have placed on them within the household titled “How Round is your Roti”. Sharina hysterically challenged the audience’s perception of a woman’s worth by highlighting how regardless how educated, successful and loving a woman can be, her worth within the community is determined by her ability to complete household tasks such as cooking ethnic foods.

The night was capped off with an award ceremony honoring 5 phenomenal women making strides in the Muslim community. These women have fearlessly played a vital role in facilitating resources, educating students and creating opportunities for effective change here in our city of Surrey. Below are recipients of the first annual Muslim Women of the Year Awards.

Naveen Zafar

Naveen Zafar a TEDx speaker, mentor, and founder of 2 university clubs targeted to connecting and educating the community was awarded the Young women of distinction award.

You can view Naveen’s Tedx Talk here.

Irath Syed

Irath Syed who is well known for being a public speaker breaking through moral panics in the Muslim community was awarded the Social Justice and Community Activism Award. Itrath is currently working on her PHD and teaching multiple communities about the different lenses of Islam.

Qamrul Mohammed

Qamrul Mohammed received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her tireless efforts to bring communities together and her focus on health and wellbeing of the community. Qamrul is a founding member of the Rape Crisis Centre for Muslim Women and works with multiple organizations in Surrey to fight for mental and physical wellness within the community.

Nassim Elbardouh

Nassim Elbardouh educates and empowers her students by breaking down stereotypical media representations of Islam and women. Nassim received the Education and Leadership Award.

Yasmine Youssef

Yasmine Youssef established NISA homes, plays a major role in forming the refugee task force and is the organizer of the first Muslim Women networking event, BLOOM. Outside of her personal strides to unify the Muslim community she is a panelist at SFU’s Muslim Student Association as well has partnered with Muslim Association of Canada to hold a self-defense workshop for women and youth of all ages. Yasmine received the Champion of Women Award.

Thank you to all of the participants and Aisha Aimje for a phenomenal night of informal learning. You can learn more about Voices of Muslim Women and The Digital Lens program here.

About The Author

Summan Kandola

Vancouver-based content creator, Summan Kandola talks about what we think about. Join the conversation on her YouTube channel: @chroniclesofsumman.


Recent Posts

Oh, Canada, we sing for Thee!

Published 9/26/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

“Is the glass half empty or half full? – Let’s roll the rim and find out!”

This joke (and many more) was part of the concert of The Wayward Wind Band this Friday, September 22nd. Leisa Way, Fred Smith, Bobby Prochaska, Nathan Smith,… read more ❯

Cloverfest: Craft Beer! Wine! Food! Live Music And More on October 14

Published 9/25/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

Cloverfest: Craft Beer & Wine Festival presented by Townline Homes, is coming to Cloverdale October 14th! The event will feature local craft beer, wine and spirits too.  Taking place at Shannon Hall on the… read more ❯

Shreya Ghoshal enthrals Vancouver – Music is forever

Published 9/25/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

September 17, 2017 marked the very last event of team Shreya Ghoshal’s two month long North America tour. Shreya herself was highly emotional about her tour coming to an end. Like a true artist, Shreya was openly… read more ❯

Meet Surrey Girl, Samantha Lenz

Published 9/24/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

Freelance Journalist & Blogger
Growing up, soccer was my life. We spent a lot of time on the fields and it’s a bond that can’t be described. My favourite thing about growing up in Surrey were the friendships I… read more ❯

Surrey Events Calendar – September 25th to October 1st

Published 9/24/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

Surrey events calendar
September 25th – October 1st
Diwali Downtown Surrey
Diwali Downtown features the best of contemporary and classical Indian culture with performances, rangoli, and an Indian-style bazaar (marketplace) featuring South Asian crafts and food. This year’s event welcomes various artists to showcase unity in diversity, with performances by Karima Essa & Aashritha… read more ❯

Recent Videos


Recent Tweets