I was born in Perth. My Dad is from Egypt and my Mum is from Iraq. I speak English obviously and Arabic.
I love WA especially its beaches and the stunning Swan River (something drastic needs to be done to the murky Yarra River here in Melbourne), but Victoria has been my home for 27 years.
I can honestly say Victorians are, generally speaking more respectful and more inclusive than people from other states. That’s what I love about Victoria.
I trained to be a Chemistry and Physics teacher, however have not spent much time in the teaching profession!
I served on the board of the Islamic Council of Victoria for nearly 8 years which was a life changing experience. It gave me the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most impressive individuals.
I am continually amazed by the calibre of our youth and Muslim women in particular.
I now serve on the board of the Islamic Museum of Australia and volunteer as the education director. We live in challenging times; hate speech has become normalised and the rhetoric surrounding Islam and Muslims is often menacing and divisive.
This has reaffirmed my commitment to work towards creating a more inclusive and harmonious Australia.
It is hard to articulate in words how rewarding it is to witness individuals walk through the doors of the Islamic Museum and have their negative perceptions of Islam completely transform within hours.
The Islamic Museum of Australia is playing a key role in reviving the arts in the Muslim community, which is so important.
I love working in an environment that celebrates the beauty of Islam. It is so uplifting and enriching,
Last year, after Sonia Kruger made comments in the media advocating a ban on Muslim migration, I wrote a letter to the Age reaching out to those individuals who have shown support for the Muslim community and chosen the path of understanding and compassion instead of fear. I invited them to have a coffee at the Islamic Museum; my shout!
Quite a number of people contacted me but one individual Fiona Scott -Norman created a whole facebook event. We have now held five coffee events at the museum and these have led to other groups organising similar initiatives.
I live in hope for a world where the injustices faced by all marginalised groups are addressed.