BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Founder, Director, Advisor
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.
Board Director- President
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.
Board Director, Co-Chair
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.
Anwar S. Arkani
Anwar Shah Arkani is a Burmese Rohingya who came to Canada and is a prominent speaker who works as a linguistic specialist, offering dedicated assistance to clients in addressing their concerns. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University. In 2006-2007 Anwar helped rescue stranded Rohingya boatpeople in Thailand, leading to an invitation to the United Nations. Founder and director of the Rohingya Association of Canada [RAC], Anwar spearheaded advocacy campaigns to declare Rohingya’s plights as "GENOCIDE" and contributed significantly toward the production of "Time To Act: Rohingya Voices". Anwar was also a cofounder of the Rohingya Language School in Kitchener, to teach Rohingya writing systems and cultural norms. He received the International Refugee Day Distinction Award in 2014.
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.
Rihanat migrated to Canada in 2010 and is very passionate about building relationships and supporting people who are vulnerable. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree and an Associate degree in Islamic Education. Rihanat is an active member of the Muslim, immigrant/newcomer, and African communities within the Waterloo Region. She sits on a number of boards and committees at different organizations and can be found planning, supporting and facilitating various events and programs in the community. She enjoys spending time with her family and reaching out to her friends.
Aurra Startup (she/her) is a treaty person situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to and cared for by the Haudenosaunee people of Six Nations. She is completing her graduate studies with a focus on restorative justice education to promote equity and inclusivity within schools. Beyond academia, Aurra loves being rooted within the community and spends much of her time volunteering with local organizations doing critical social justice work.
Ashoo has led Credit Valley Conservation’s multicultural outreach program since its humble beginnings in 2009. In this role, she has been collaborating and building strategic alliances with other public sector agencies and community organizations for developing and delivering culturally sensitive programming for immigrants for their physical and psychological wellbeing.
Ashoo has spearheaded initiatives within Credit Valley Conservation to foster inter-cultural discussions. Being an immigrant herself, Ashoo understands the challenges and barriers newcomers face in accessing nature and building a strong and meaningful connections. Her education and work experience have been pivotal in developing a robust environmental outreach program for culturally diverse immigrants in the region.
Qadir Ahmadi is an accounting grad student of Conestoga College and a former program coordinator of Afghanistan Libre non-for-profit organization. He has helped AL in their mission to facilitate the rights to education, healthcare, and opportunity to the most marginalized women and girls across rural and isolated areas of Afghanistan. Qadir is an active member of Ismaili Volunteer Corps and a team member of MAC LLP Chartered Professional Accountants. He has received Ontario Volunteer Service Awards for 10 years of his service in Ontario by Ontario Minister of Citizenship & Immigration and Premier of Ontario.