n this occasion, President Mobeen Khaja said “We want to be the first ones in the country to celebrate Canada Day. This celebration is a reaffirmation of our being Canadian. Our diversity is well reflected on this occasion as more communities are participating.”
Dr. Nurjehan Mawani, C.M., was the Keynote Speaker and also one of the award recipients. She spoke about “Diversity, Civil Society and Pluralism” a topic close to her heart.
Awards were presented to the following individuals:
DR. NURJEHAN MAWANI, C.M., for her lifetime achievements and outstanding contributions in the public service sector, especially her pioneering work on women refugees and gender-related persecution which has brought Canada international recognition, and her strong commitment to excellence, and her volunteer work.
DR. ABDUL FATTAH ELZAWI, MD. FRCP. ABIM., for his achievements in the field of medicine, particularly his research, and his dedicated volunteer work in serving the Muslim and Arab communities, and his passion for establishing an Arab Community Centre.
DR. SHAKIR ULLAH HUSAIN SHEIKH, M.D., for his volunteer work in serving the Ottawa Muslim community for more than 30 years, his compassion towards others, especially the weak and needy, his guidance, spiritual knowledge and the religious services he has rendered on many occasions.
COUNCILLOR SUZAN HALL for her commitment and long-standing service to the community in Etobicoke, including the Muslim community, as a Trustee, Chair and Vice Chair of the School Board, and Municipal Councillor.
MR. MOHAMED-BAQIR ALLOO in recognition of his dedicated volunteer work in serving the Ithna-Asheri community for many years, especially as an educator, his knowledge and wisdom that have helped many on numerous occasions.
MS. YASMIN RATANSI for her volunteer work for many years, especially her dedication to promoting peace, harmony and better understanding among various communities, as well as her long time passion to hold public office. Ms. Ratansi was elected as M.P. in the recent Federal election.
MR. MUSTAALI KANCHWALA for his volunteer work in serving his community, his compassion and dedication to helping others, especially his focus on youth.
In her Keynote Speech, Dr.Mawani said “In a world where many societies are torn apart by conflict between different ethnic, religious and tribal groups, Canada offers a rare example of a veritable microcosm of the world coming together and living in peaceful harmony – in a common citizenship that is not defined by a particular religion, culture or ethnicity.”
Dr. Mawani said that while human societies are by nature diverse or pluralist, not all practice pluralism because pluralism requires active participation in society’s diversity. She also said that Canada ’s successful pluralism is found in its strong civil society and that “embracing diversity is a work in progress” and for Canada , pluralism has become a key national value.