When Ahmad Iqbal moved to North America, he was surprised by this culture’s bathroom habits. A Pakistani Canadian who grew up in the Middle East and Asia, he was used to washing with water after using the toilet. Seeing as this is the religious requirement for all Muslims, bidets are staples of most modern Muslim homes and are even common in countries like South Korea and Japan. However, they are not commonly found in North American households.
But Ahmad hopes to change that. He founded Nadeef (clean in Arabic), a company which sells easy to install hand-held bidets, offering a simple and affordable solution for anyone in North America who wants a more hygienic and environmentally friendly alternative to toilet paper.
Muslim Link interviewed Ahmad about Nadeef Bidet and the lessons he has learned from his experience in business that he hopes will help other aspiring entrepreneurs.
Eman Idil Bare is an award-winning Canadian journalist. She is also a fashion designer who recently launched her own brand.
Muslim Link had the opportunity to interview Eman about growing up in Saskatchewan and about her work writing, which covers topics as diverse as youth radicalization, modest fashion, and anti-Black racism within Muslim communities. We also discuss with her how she is finding her footing as an entrepreneur in the world of ethical fashion.
The fashion industry can be a cold and cut-throat world, but one happy-go-lucky Muslim woman is bringing warmth to it, one clothing collection at a time.
Iman Nakhala is a fashion designer from Montreal; arguably the main hub of arts and culture in Canada. Originally from Palestine, Iman was born in Saudi Arabia in 1986 and moved with her family to Quebec in 1993.
“My parents moved us to Canada in 1993 to get a higher education just like they did. I’m bi-cultural and proud of it,” she says.
Like many young Muslims raised in the West, Iman often found herself straddling more than one identity.
Anyone who has ever sought out post-secondary education knows it can be a struggle to find the perfect program. One team of young Muslims from Ottawa is changing the scene with a new website aimed at helping students find the Canadian university that’s right for them.
Apportal.ca is the brainchild of Abdul Amoud. A Merivale High School graduate currently enrolled at the University of Ottawa, he recalls how his own path to post-secondary education was not so smooth.
Magicuts, a well-known hair salon franchise, has opened a new store on Ogilvie Road with a special section designed to provide quality hair care services in a comfortable space for women who wear hijab. The salon is part of Shoppers City East, a new shopping district located near COSTCO. It was actually a current Magicuts staff member, Lebanese Canadian Nisrine Soueid, who suggested that the store create the hijab-friendly space as there are not many salons who offer full services for clients who wear the hijab and don’t want their hair exposed to the public.
Nour Kaiss Soliman is one of Canada’s top hijab bloggers in the digital space. Currently, she is the CEO of two companies, one of which is a new mobile app company called Souqina, set to launch this May 2016. In the past, Nour has worked as a brand representative, community speaker and entrepreneur. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree after double majoring in Religion and Middle Eastern Civilization and minoring in History and Politics from the University of Toronto, and got into her creative pursuits pretty soon after graduation. She has amazing fans from all over the world and she also owns her own hijab company, ELLE-vation.
For 21 years, Fatima Omar Khamissa was a victim of an abusive marriage which destroyed all the hopes and dreams she had for herself. She took her five children and left that marriage and today, Fatima is the the CEO of Spiritual Biz Moms, leading provider of training and coaching for women who feel stuck, frustrated, and tired of living lives without satisfaction, meaning, and progress. The trauma of abuse, apartheid and violence was not able to break Fatima’s spirit and as an international best selling Author, Fatima is sharing her message to inspire, motivate, and lead women all over the world to continual growth in both personal and professional life. Women choose Spiritual Biz Moms because Fatima is not “just another coach”, instead she’s a real business strategist and thought leader who creates custom plans for you that details practical strategies for overcoming obstacles to unlock your greatest abilities.
Samra Zafar is a Commercial Account Manager at RBC Royal Bank. She is the award recipient of multiple awards and a graduate of the University of Toronto, a Public Speaker, an upcoming Author, and the Founder of Brave Beginnings, an organization dedicated to helping women find personalized mentorship, friendship and support to rebuild their lives after oppression and abuse.
Shoaib Khan and Asif Saleh are fitness entrepreneurs from Mississauga. As you see can see from this picture, they are “lifting it up!” with “Because I Lift”. Check out their website for their videos, their merchandise and great tips on how to “keep fit and keep lifting”!