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Muslim Social Services

Muslim Social Services Kitchener-Waterloo is a charitable organization that provides culturally- and spiritually-sensitive humanitarian and social services to the Muslim and non-Muslim communities of the Waterloo Region. MSS aims to foster a healthy and inclusive region where people can live with dignity and respect. We aim to create a deep sense of belonging in community members from collectivist contexts through programs aimed at leveraging the resilience of children and youth, creating safer families, through community outreach initiatives, counselling, bridge-building, and capacity-building.

 

Our approaches to service are integrated and reflective of unique community contexts. We are a small organization that has been able to offer a wide range of programs and service and build our reputation through strong community partnerships. The MSS office is located in The Family Centre, and we are actively engaged in the collaborative atmosphere of the Community Hub.

 

MSS is a charitable organization and the registration number of our charity is 848686309RR0001.

Board of Directors

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Idrisa Pandit

Founder, Director, Advisor

Kaleem Rehman.jfif

"Kaleem Rehman

Board Director

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Sue Hummel

Board Director

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Humera Javed

Board Director, Treasurer

Idrisa is an academic and a passionate social justice worker. She has been recognized for her volunteerism and community contributions. Among her numerous awards are the University of Waterloo President’s community award 2017, Ontario’s Leading women leading girls award 2016, Oktober fest Woman of the year award, 2016, and the 2007 Top twenty Canadian Muslim women who inspire award. Idrisa’s research and writings focus on interfaith relations, anti oppression, anti racism, gender and Islam, and the Kashmir conflict.

Kaleem Rehman having graduated from the University of Guelph, made the selfless decision to serve the most vulnerable populations with diversified backgrounds as a caseworker with the Region of Waterloo for 29 years simultaneously becoming a Real Estate Agent and Sophisticated Investor.  His passion and purpose are to create generational financial security through real estate and education to shift family paradigms. He believes this is possible through collaborating with people of different backgrounds, ideals and experiences to uncover untapped opportunities.

Sue graduated from the University of Waterloo and remained an active member of the Waterloo Region community through involvement with the Forest Hill United Church as an Outreach Coordinator, the Tri-Faith Sponsorship group, and volunteering with the Chandler Mowat Community Centre. She is a caseworker with the social services department of the Region of Waterloo. Sue is passionate about building bridges and developing a strong sense of community regardless of race or religion.

Humera Javed is the Education and Inclusion Coordinator at the Diversity & Equity Office, Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. She is a PhD student studying Curriculum Studies & Teacher Development at OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education), University of Toronto. She is interested in issues of diversity, equity, social justice, religious pluralism, intra and inter-faith dialogue, and how they relate to community-building and education.

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Brice Balmer

Board Director, Co-Chair

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Rihanat El-Alawa. 

Board Director

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Khalid Khokar

Board Director- President

Brice is a Professor Emeritus of Luther University College, Wilfrid Laurier University. He taught courses in the Master of Arts in Theology program, in the field of Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy. Brice is a co-founder of Interfaith Grand River and is an well recognized community leader and author. As an ordained Mennonite minister he has worked in chaplaincy for many years, especially with people who are marginalized, in Denver, Colorado, and in Kitchener, Ontario. He was also a co-pastor at First Mennonite Church, in Kitchener, for 17 years.

Rihanat migrated to Canada from Nigeria and is very passionate about building relationships and helping people who are vulnerable. Rihanat is an active member of the Muslim community in Cambridge Ontario. Rihanat holds a Bachelor’s degree, and is currently pursuing an Associate degree in Islamic Education at the International Open University. Rihanat is a member of the Langs Board and is part of the Community Services Committee. She is also a Peer Champion with the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI). Rihanat was a Peer Leader at the Healthy Eating, Healthy Living in Canada program at the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Center (KDCHC). She enjoys spending time with her family and reaching out to her friends.

Mr. Khalid Khokhar is the Executive Director of the Islamic Centre of Cambridge and a life long educator and school administrator. Mr. Khokhar has been associated with MSS in a variety of roles, as a Board member, as well as a mentor and advisor. Mr. Khokar has served on Boards of many different not for profit organizations and brings a wealth of expertise to Muslim Social Services.

Our staff

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Duaa Al-Aghar

Executive Director

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Rozina Shaheen

Counsellor, Community Engagement Coordinator

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Shady Safar

Counsellor

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Amal El Hassan

Community Connector

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Hanin El Hassan

Community Connector

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Our history

Muslim Social Services was founded in January 2007 in response to the need for a culturally- and spiritually-sensitive community agency. MSS has aimed to follow the Islamic commandment of working to foster a just, equitable, and peaceful community.

 

The model MSS has adopted from its inception has been one of cooperation and partnership with other mainstream agencies, faith groups, and counselling centres that have well-established social service infrastructure. It is with the help of these partnerships and a great deal of hard work that MSS evolved form a group of loosely knit volunteers dedicated to making a difference to a full fledged not-for-profit organization in 2011.

 

In Feb 2013, MSS was recognized by the Government of Canada as a charitable organization as well. We are committed to treating everyone who approaches MSS with dignity, respect, and compassion. We hope to validate the place of faith and culture in people’s lives and foster safe spaces for all members of our community.

“I think Muslim Social Services are doing a great role in our community. A role that may be missed in other organizations. It is an outreach role. It is the service role. It is taking care of these matters, issues that are really crucial to our community and how we can solve it.”

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Kitchener Masjid

Imam Muhammad Abuelezz

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