CBC Toronto - Photo By Timothy Neesam

Tahrir in Toronto

Meet Our Panel

In addition to your stories, we will hear from community members with experience in these issues.
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Abdalla Ruken
Abdalla Ruken

Abdalla Ruken

Dr. Abdalla Ruken is a Libyan Canadian living in Toronto with his wife and 3 children.

He came to Canada as a student in 1983, earned a Ph.D. in Physics from McMaster University and returned to Libya to teach at Garyounis University in Benghazi. He returned to Canada in 1995 after facing harassment and has since worked in the financial industry.

Dr. Ruken continues to visit Libya often; he last returned on February 7th and has been outspoken in support of the current Libyan uprising.

Sima Sahar Zerehi
Sima Sahar Zerehi

Sima Sahar Zerehi

Sima Sahar Zerehi is an Arab-Canadian feminist who travels on various paths, but always toward the same destination. She is a first-generation immigrant from Iran who came to Canada as a refugee in her early teens after many years of migration through Europe. She is a journalist with Shahrvand, the largest Farsi language publication in North America serving the Iranian and Afghan communities; which allows her to work with a new generation of writers, who like her, are constructing their identity from both their Canadian and Iranian influences.

She is also a professor and program coordinator at Humber College; a long-time immigrant/refugee rights advocate and community organizer; and one-half of Rubber Duck Media, a new media and communications start-up representing a broad range of clients in politics, the non-profit sector and the arts. In her daydreams she imagines herself as an artist and photographer.

Mohamed El Rashidy
Mohamed El Rashidy

Mohamed El Rashidy

Mohamed El Rashidy was born in Egypt and emigrated to Canada at the age of 12.

He graduated from the University of Toronto with a double specialist Degree in Political Science and History.

His avid affection for Soccer has taken him around the world, particularly to Egypt and other Arab countries where he gained insight into the interactions of the State security apparatus and large congregations of the public. Mohamed is a licensed referee with the Ontario Soccer Association.

Moreover he worked in the Canadian Muslims Civil Liberties Association after 9/11 dealing with victims of hate crimes. As a community activist he spoke at numerous schools and community centers to help maintain the quintessential Canadian qualities of tolerance and respect. He is keen to restore the atmosphere in the 90's which allowed him as a youth to feel that Mohamed is as Canadian a name as any. He was elected to the Executive Committee of the Canadian Arab Federation in 2006 and again in 2008. During that time he founded a media committee and has been a frequent guest on local and national shows ever since. As a director for the Canadian Arab Federation Mohamed has been fully committed to the promotion of Caf's values of protecting civil liberties, the equality of human rights as well as combating racism and hate in all of its forms. Mohamed currently runs a private practice representing defendants in Provincial Offences and Criminal (summary) courts.

Mohammad H. Fadel
Mohammad H. Fadel

Mohammad H. Fadel

Mohammad H. Fadel joined the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto in January 2006. He received his B.A. in Government and Foreign Affairs (1988) from the University of Virginia, a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago (1995) and his J.D. from the University of Virginia (1999). Professor Fadel was admitted to the Bar of New York in 2000 and practiced law with the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, New York, where he worked on a wide variety of corporate finance transactions and securities-related regulatory investigations.

In addition, Professor Fadel served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and the Honorable Anthony A. Alaimo of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Professor Fadel has published numerous articles in Islamic legal history.

Nahla Abdo
Nahla Abdo

Nahla Abdo

Nahla Abdo (Ph.D.) is an Arab feminist, political activist and Professor of Sociology at Carleton University, Ottawa. She has written and published extensively on women, racism, nationalism and the State in the Middle East with special focus on Palestinian women. Among her recent publications: Women in Israel: Gender, Race and Citizenship (forthcoming 2011), Gender, Citizenship and the State: The Israeli Case. 2010 (Arabic); Women and Poverty in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Some Conceptual and Methodological Notes, 2007; Violence in the Name of Honour: Theoretical and Political Challenges, 2004 (with Shahrzad Mojab), and Women and the Politics of Military Confrontation: Palestinian and Israeli Gendered Narratives of Dislocation, 2002 (with Ronit Lentin).

In addition to these books, Professor Abdo has published numerous articles in international academic journals. She has also given numerous interviews on events in the Middle East, to various North American media outlets, including CBC, CKLN, Reuters and Rabble.

Professor Abdo is currently working on a research project which deals with experiences of Women Political Detainees, before, during and after detention.

Your Stories

In addition to our guests, we want to hear from you. Send us your stories about the struggles overseas and how they affect you in Toronto. How do you plan to help the transition to better governance?