Speakers

 

Amira Elghawaby obtained an honours degree in Journalism and Law from Carleton University in 2001. Since then, she has worked as both a full-time and freelance journalist, writing and producing stories for a variety of media including CBC Radio, the Ottawa Citizen, the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail.In 2012, she joined NCCM as Human Rights Coordinator to advocate for the human rights & civil liberties of diverse communities. In 2015, Amira became NCCM’s Communications Director in which she leads the NCCM’s media relations, public engagement and strategic communications.
Br. Mahdi Qasqas is a duly Registered Psychologist and Certified Counsellor. He has over 16 years and over 10000 hours of experience working with youth and families of all ages and stages. He has provided consultation and training for hundreds of private, non-profit, and public organization executives; locally and internationally. Organizations have ranged from start-up groups to multi-million dollar entities.
Sh. Alaa received his Bachelors in Shariah from the American International University and studied comparative religion for 5 yrs. through the IPCI in South Africa.
He is a member of the Canadian Council of Imams as well as a member of Horizon Interfaith Communication Media Council. Prior to this, he was an Imam for the Muslim Council of Calgary and acted as its media spokesperson.
Sh. Alaa is the Director of Religious Affairs for the Islamic Centre of Canada-ISNA and is an instructor with AlKauthar Institute and Director of Public Relations for Mercy Mission World.
Jeremy McLellan is a standup comedian based in Charleston, SC where he won the 2015 and 2016 Charleston Standup Comedy Competition and was named Best Local Comic in the Charleston City Paper. In addition to telling jokes all over the country he has also performed with TJ Miller, Todd Barry, Tig Notaro, Mark Normand and others. Never one to shy away from controversy, his material covers a wide range of hot-button topics like politics, gender, race, disability, religion, and Santa Claus.
Sh. Waleed graduated with a Bachelor’s in Islamic Sciences from Al-Imam Muhammad University, KSA; did his Masters in Islamic Theology, World Religions and Modern Religious Sects from Al-Imam Muhammad University; and acquired a Doctorate in Theology.
He is a member of the North American Imam Federation (NAIF), Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA)-Fatwa and Research Committee, Director of Texas Dawah Convention, and Advisor to numerous Islamic Societies/Organizations around the US.
He is the Vice President of AlMaghrib Institute and the Head of the Aqeedah and Adab Department for Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America.
  Navaid Aziz is a Canadian Muslim public figure with a diverse academic and social background. He is currently focused on the education and integration of Muslim youth, with the hopes of eradicating radicalization. He was raised in Montreal, Quebec where he completed a diplome d’etudes collegiales (D.E.C.) in commerce and Social Sciences from Champlain College before heading to the Islamic University of Madinah where he completed an Associates Degree in Arabic Language and Literature and Bachelors in Islamic Law.

Upon returning home to Canada, Navaid began teaching for Al-Maghrib Institute. He has since transitioned to their Director of Public Relations. During this period, he volunteered as the Islamic Editor for Little Explorers Magazine and began his work as a youth and family counsellor. It was also during this time that he established himself as a sought after public speaker. He has lectured across four continents and eighteen countries thus far.

In 2012 Navaid moved to Calgary, Alberta to become the Director of Religious and Social Services for the Islamic Information Society of Calgary, a position he currently holds. He also began volunteered as a chaplain at S.A.I.T. from 2012 to 2015. In Calgary his youth counselling work extended further to include helping in the mitigation of criminal radicalization. This included the implementation of civic engagement opportunities for Muslim youth. Among the programs started were youth groups, volunteer programs at the local shelters, community cleanups, and tree planting days. In 2015 Navaid became the first ever Muslim chaplain with the Calgary Police Services. Through his involvement with CPS he consulted in the development of their world renowned redirect program. He is currently working on establishing further opportunities for preventing radicalization and enhancing youth integration.

Navaid’s free time is spent exploring local eateries, traveling, and hiking the Canadian Rockies. He is also known to enjoy playing basketball and hosting game nights—with Monopoly and Cranium being his favorites.

To read more about Navaid’s counter-radicalization efforts as well as community programs in Calgary please see the following news coverage: Calgary Herald. VICE. CBC. Global. Calgary Herald. IISC.