New Canadian Media
Friday, 13 May 2016 12:01

Are You Eating Produce or Pesticides?

 

Dr. George I. Traitses Pesticides are a class of biocide intended to attract, seduce and destroy pests, most commonly used to protect plant crops. That’s great for the plants and bad for the pests, of course – but what about us? Unfortunately, pesticides are toxins, which means we’re not supposed to be anywhere near them 

 

The Philippine Reporter

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Published in Health

by Kyle Duggan in Ottawa

As the world struggles against the rapid spread of the Zika virus, the Canadian government is opening its wallet to shell out nearly $5 million for research and international aid.

Health Minister Jane Philpott announced a funding package of $4.95 million before question period Wednesday afternoon, which she called a “significant and important international response” on Canada’s part.

The virus has been linked by health officials to causing microcephaly, a rare but serious birth defect that leads to unusually small heads and hindering newborn development.

“This will fund large international projects that will address the spread of the Zika virus,” she said.

According to the minister’s office, $3 million will go toward in research, through Canada Institutes of Health Research, and the International Research Development Centre. Specifically it goes into researching the link between Zika, microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome, along with developing better ways of testing for the virus, studying how it gets transmitted, and finding better ways of preventing transmission from mosquitoes.

Public Health Agency of Canada will send $950,000 to the Pan American Health Organization for responding to countries hardest hit, and Global Affairs Canada will divvy up $1 million for humanitarian funding to a number of organizations, including the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization, and the International Federation of Red Cross.

In the U.S., meanwhile, the White House and health officials have been urging Congress to grant $1.9 billion in new funding to deal with the health threat Zika poses internationally and domestically, and while waiting the administration has raided funding from an Ebola fund to make due.

In Canada, the Zika threat itself has been low because the country doesn’t have the Aedes type of mosquito that spreads the virus. According to Public Health Agency Canada’s last update from last week, Canada has 67 cases identified from travel and one from sexual transmission.

Zika has been around in Africa and Asia for decades, but in the past few years it was introduced into the Americas and has been spreading rapidly.


Republished in partnership with iPolitics.ca

 

Published in Health
Saturday, 07 May 2016 01:05

The Importance of Fathers

   Any man can be a father.  It takes someone special to be a dad.  – Unknown author   IN the past, both here in Canada and in India, mothers were expected to do the lion’s share of raising the child, while the men worked outside the home to support the family. Women did not […]

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Published in Health

by Rosanna Haroutounian in Quebec City

A trip to an organic dairy farm in Ontario was enough to inspire a former Wall Street banker to launch a global search for better ways to treat farm animals. 

“This was an organic farm, but the cows still weren’t treated well,” recalls author Sonia Faruqi. “They were indoors two-thirds of the year and outdoors only one-third of the year, and while they were indoors, they were chained to stalls, which is really unnatural for cows, who are grazing animals.” 

After volunteering for two weeks at the dairy farm, Faruqi visited other Ontario farms, but not without resistance from farmers, who she says are part of a tightly knit community. 

“Everyone they know is a farmer, so if you’re someone who comes from a city, or who’s brown, or even a woman in a very male-dominated industry, you're immediately very different,” explains Faruqi, who was born in Pakistan and raised in the United Arab Emirates. 

She worked at an investment bank on Wall Street in the United States before the 2008 economic crisis, after which she joined her family who had just immigrated to Canada. 

“Everyone they know is a farmer, so if you’re someone who comes from a city, or who’s brown, or even a woman in a very male-dominated industry, you're immediately very different.”

Faruqi says she used her savings to visit and volunteer at farms in several countries, including the United States, Malaysia and Mexico. 

Her first book, Project Animal Farm: An Accidental Journey into the Secret World of Farming and the Truth About Our Food, documents her experiences abroad and what can be done to create a farming system that is better for farmers, animals and consumers. 

A world view on farming 

While Faruqi says she witnessed many examples of animals being mistreated, such as chickens being kept in overcrowded cages and pigs covered in their own feces, she also visited farms where animals were well treated and healthy. 

In Belize, Faruqi stayed on a farm with female Mennonite missionaries, who she says have a holistic view of the land and do not refer to raising livestock as agriculture or business, but as “animal husbandry.” 

She says the women named their cows and allowed them to graze in fields with ponds and other animals. 

“It was interesting for me to see that kind of affection for the animals and the land.”  

Faruqi also compared the farming practices between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to explore how industrialization affects the treatment of animals. 

“It’s all changed to an extremely industrialized, very low-cost system.”

She explains that in Malaysia, which has recently experienced rapid economic growth, the popularity of fast food chains like KFC and McDonald’s has led to an increase in factory-farm practices, including artificial insemination, antibiotic use and corn-based diets. 

“It’s all changed to an extremely industrialized, very low-cost system,” she explains. “Local farms, breeds, and knowledge that people have of animals and of the land – all of it is eradicated.” 

By contrast, in Indonesia, which is less industrialized, Faruqi witnessed hens walking freely in villages that only visited their owners’ homes in the mornings for breakfast. 

“I noticed people walking their cows,” she adds. “It was interesting to see that bond that people have with animals.” 

She notes that at some of the farms she visited in Ontario, farmers didn’t visit their farms and relied on automated systems to update them on their animals. 

The many downsides to factory farming

Faruqi says that despite the downsides to factory farming, the government in Malaysia promotes fast food because it symbolizes industrialization and development. 

“The same way people wear jeans and listen to American music, they’re also eating American foods, which are hamburgers and fries and actually not good for you,” she says. 

“There’s tens of billions of farm animals in the world and most of them are being made to suffer to produce cheap food for people, who should not be eating that much meat, milk and eggs to begin with.” 

“When people move here, they really want to integrate to the extent that they leave their own food heritage.”

Faruqi says consumers have the power to promote good farming habits by eating less animal products and demanding that the animal products they do eat be produced in healthier ways. 

“There’s a misconception that you have to be white and wealthy to even think about this, which is not true, because in the end, everyone’s health is important.” 

A disproportionate impact on immigrants   

She notes that while language or income barriers might prevent newcomers from making healthy choices, many of them come to Canada practising healthy eating habits that they don’t retain. 

“When people move here, they really want to integrate to the extent that they leave their own food heritage.” 

The vegetarian diet that is popular in India is an example that Western societies can learn to value, she says. 

She notes that immigrants can also be disproportionately affected on the production side, because factory farms employ many immigrants in slaughterhouses. 

“Part of the reason is that these are jobs non-immigrants don’t want, for clear reasons,” she says. “Workers have mental and physical health issues, which are not really treated.” 

Faruqi advocates for more government oversight of factory farms and regulations to protect animal rights, as well as the inclusion of more women in agriculture. 

She says that under current laws in Canada and the U.S., a pig has the same rights as a table, “which is really ridiculous when you think about it, because one is an animate being with instincts and interests and desires, at the very least, to not suffer.”


This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Health

A Commonwealth initiative to boost Sierra Leone's health protection policy is designed to strengthen national health systems and help prevent and manage the impacts of future disease outbreaks, says Dr Joanna Nurse, Head of Health at the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The project with Sierra Leone's Government and other development partners comes amid national and international efforts to recover from the Ebola outbreak. The pandemic cost Sierra Leone nearly 4,000 lives - more than (...)

- Salone News

The Patriotic Vangaurd

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Published in Africa

by Carlos Tello in Vancouver 

A new food guide combines recipes from British Columbia’s immigrant communities with local seafood options to teach new Canadians how to incorporate B.C. fish into a healthy diet. 

“You have chefs from all over the world, and then you make them cook this local product,” says Siddharth Choudhary, the executive chef of Siddhartha’s Kitchen, a Vancouver restaurant that specializes in Indian food. “So people will be able to make dishes with ingredients they can find in any grocery store. It’s kind of a nice mix.” 

A recent survey commissioned by Vancouver settlement organization MOSAIC, the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association and local newspaper, The Province, found out that although immigrants tend to generally eat the suggested amount of meat, fish and alternatives by the Canada Food Guide, they are less aware of how to ensure ‘healthy-heart’ diets. 

This type of diet keeps cholesterol low, prevents heart disease and includes foods high in Omega-3 acids like salmon and other types of local B.C. fish. 

[I]mmigrants often don’t know how to incorporate salmon into their diets.

According to Jeremy Dunn, the executive director of the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association, this could be because immigrants often don’t know how to incorporate salmon into their diets. 

“One thing we hear a fair bit from people with respect to salmon, especially with respect to making it at home, is that either they don’t know how to cook it, or they don’t know more than one way to cook it,” he says. “And so it gets boring.” 

In order to address this, MOSAIC and the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association recruited chefs from different backgrounds in order to produce the Eating Resource Guide, titled A Mosaic of Flavours, comprised of six recipes by six different chefs. 

The guide showcases different ways to cook meals that utilize B.C.’s local fish and seafood. Of the six recipes presented in the guide, four have salmon as a main ingredient. 'Indian Baked Salmon' and 'Salmon Chinese Way' are two examples.

Guide a nod to B.C.’s multiculturalism 

“Apart from the nutrition factor, the guide gives you different types of recipes. It gives you a little bit of Korean, of continental, of Indian, and more,” says Choudhary. 

For the chef, the fact that the guide mixes local and international ingredients and spices showcases the multicultural nature of B.C., a province in which visible minorities represent just over 25 per cent of the population. 

[T]he guide mixes local and international ingredients and spices ...

Moreover, Choudhary says the guide also highlights the stories of the chefs who come from a variety of ethno-cultural backgrounds. 

“By reading the guide, you can learn about these chefs coming from different countries who are working very hard in order to be successful,” he says. “I think it sets an example.” 

For Choudhary, being fluent in English and spending almost a decade working in Europe and Asia didn’t relieve him from the struggles many immigrants face when they settle in a new country. 

Choudhary moved to Canada with his family seven years ago and a year after settling in Vancouver, he opened Siddhartha’s Kitchen. 

“When I first arrived, I was very confused about what to do and how to do it,” he shares. 

At the time, Choudhary wasn’t aware of the existence of immigrant settlement agencies. After learning about the services these organizations provide to newcomers, he became eager to help. 

“We want to create awareness amongst newcomers on the relationship between healthy eating and heart disease.”

His opportunity arrived last month, when he learned that MOSAIC was looking for chefs to compile a healthy eating guide. 

“I thought it would be a great idea to come up with a new recipe,” Choudhary says. “I wanted to incorporate my skills, to [do] whatever I could to contribute with MOSAIC.” 

Healthy diet is not enough

The purpose of the guide is not only to provide newcomers with ideas on how to incorporate more seafood into their diets, but also to start a conversation about the benefits of eating healthy. 

“We want to create awareness amongst newcomers on the relationship between healthy eating and heart disease,” says Ninu Kang, MOSAIC’s director of communications and development. “Our focus with this guide is to have newcomers start to think about their diets, and to create awareness about the different healthy foods that are available.” 

The Heart and Stroke Foundation reports that 600,000 Canadians are living with heart failure. A 2015 study found that some aspects of Western culture, like fast food and cigarettes, can contribute to declining heart health among immigrants when they arrive in Canada. 

According to the same study, immigrants from South Asia had the highest rates of heart problems. 

Dr. Manjeet Mann, a cardiologist based in Victoria, B.C., says eating oily fishes like salmon at least once a week is a good start towards a healthier lifestyle, but he warns that it is not enough. He recommends also discussing food choices with a dietitian and doing moderate exercise daily. 

“A guide is only useful if it can be applied to your day-to-day practice, and I find that without dietitian consultation, it tends to be very generic,” he says.

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Health
Thursday, 04 February 2016 09:54

'Onus on Parents to Immunize Kids'

by Belen Febres-Cordero in Vancouver

New approaches to immunization may help newcomers get the information they need to ensure their children’s records are up-to-date, though barriers still exist across the country.

In June 2015, Ottawa implemented the immunization strategy Every Child, Every Year. Marie-Claude Turcotte, manager of the vaccine-preventable disease program at Ottawa Public Health (OPH), explains that it is parents’ responsibility to provide updated immunization records to OPH. “We do not receive the information directly from the doctor’s office,” she says.  

Through this strategy, parents are informed if their children’s immunization records do not meet the requirement of the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA). They have a month to send the updated information to OPH. If they do not want to immunize their children for religious or medical reasons, they can provide an exception. 

“We try to make this process as easy as possible. Parents can give us the information by phone, fax, online, mail or in person,” says Turcotte. They also provide information in different languages and they have translators available.  In addition, they offer immunization clinics for individuals who do not have a family physician, where health insurance is not required. 

If parents do not provide the update on time, the child can be suspended for up to 20 school days.  

Improved access to clean water and vaccinations are the main reasons why longevity has increased over the last century.

According to data OPH provided by email, between December 2015 and January 2016, OPH has issued suspensions to approximately 3,100 students. As of January 21, parents and guardians of 99% of students who were suspended between the same period have updated their immunization records, and these students have returned to school.

“It is crucial to have the system up-to-date because if there is an outbreak of a disease, we can see which children could be at risk and we can intervene on time,” says Turcotte. 

National and provincial policies

Most Canadian provinces do not meet national immunization targets for key diseases. Different efforts aiming to achieve these targets have been implemented across the country, but the approaches vary from province to province. 

While in Ontario immunizations are usually given at doctors’ offices and data is not officially recorded until a child enters school, provinces like Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador have a nurse-led model focusing on early interventions that start at birth, says Colin Busby, senior policy analyst at the C.D. Howe Institute.  

Sofía Vargas emigrated from Chile and had her baby in Vancouver. She notes that in British Columbia interventions also start promptly. “There is a preoccupation to motivate parents to immunize their children,” she says. “As soon as the baby is born, the doctor explains why you should do it.” 

“Immunizations are safe and effective ways to prevent diseases. There is no effective treatment for many of them once they are contracted, so prevention is our only strategy.”

Busby clarifies that each province has its unique features, and a policy that works in one is not necessarily effective in another. However, he believes that compelling parents to make a vaccination decision is an initial step to be considered nationally.  

Challenges unique to newcomers

Improved access to clean water and vaccinations are the main reasons why longevity has increased over the last century, Busby explains. However, finding accurate and timely information about immunization can be difficult for newcomers. 

“In a study conducted among immigrant women in Edmonton, we found that the reason why their children are not being immunized is that mothers are not being told where, when or how to receive vaccinations,” says Stephanie Kowal, knowledge translation coordinator in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta.  

Dr. Ubaka Ogbogu, assistant professor in University of Alberta’s faculties of law and pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, identifies language barriers and challenges accessing health care as other difficulties newcomers may face.

Parents can access information about immunization in Canada at national and provincial websites.

Moreover, vaccines used in Canada are not always part of immunization programs globally, and immigrant families may have lived in circumstances where health care is limited or unreliable, explains Dr. Noni MacDonald, professor of pediatrics at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. 

She highlights the need for addressing this issue. “Immunizations are safe and effective ways to prevent diseases. There is no effective treatment for many of them once they are contracted, so prevention is our only strategy.”

Ways to get informed

Parents can access information about immunization in Canada at national and provincial websites. They can also download an app created by Immunize Canada

However, Kowal believes that comprehensive information, communication and delivery services tailored to immigrants’ needs are lacking. 

Although there are some resources provided in languages other than English and French, Dr. Ogbogu says that most of the information available is not translated. 

Another challenge is that most information is online, leaving families without internet access behind, explains Kowal. She suggests seeking information through local libraries or family doctors; not being afraid of asking questions; and looking for translation services, available at some clinics and hospitals at no cost.  

Vargas adds that there are provincial phone numbers people can call to ask for medical information. She encourages parents to look for resources and get involved. “Vaccines are a remarkable milestone in public health,” she says. “It is our duty as parents to be responsible in this scientific development that translates into the safety and health of our children.” 

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Health

The 68th UN General Assembly recently coined 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP) with the goal of increasing public awareness regarding food security and nutrition. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), this project was created to promote global production and make better use of crop rotations, as…

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The Source

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by Tazeen Inam in Mississauga, Ontario

According to the 2015 child poverty report for Toronto, newcomer children, children of colour and children with disabilities are among the largest groups living in poverty. Families that fall into more than one of these groups face even more grim circumstances.

Sean Meagher, Executive Director of Social Planning Toronto suggests that immigrants with non-European backgrounds taking care of children born with disabilities face financial crises often.

“English speaking [people], compared to the significant number of immigrants who are not from that background, are successful in getting jobs and we do have a racially segmented employment market [that] people with coloured skin face.”

Sacrificing to take care of family

Those taking care of someone with a disability often relinquish their own plans, as is the case of Ottawa resident Maryem Hashi (name changed for privacy).

Hashi has three younger siblings between the ages of 22 and 26 years old who all have disabilities. She gave up her university studies and a full-time job to fulfill her responsibilities at home.

[I]mmigrants with non-European backgrounds taking care of children born with disabilities face financial crises often.

 

Hashi, who moved here from Pakistan, recalls her initial days in Canada, when her mother had to face the ordeal of raising her siblings, without much access to Internet. With difficulty in speaking and understanding English, she had to navigate things like funding, health care and programs that suit the needs of her children.  

“My siblings didn’t receive any government funds and didn’t go to any specially designed programs to cater to their needs as my parents were not aware that some services were available,” explains Hashi. 

Hashi’s siblings have delayed development, which usually starts showing up after a child is two to five years old. It is a “mild” condition that affects their ability to do things “independently.”

“They tend to forget things easily and [have an] inability to do things on a daily basis like managing money, packing a [backpack], remembering directions, etc. and the challenge is to keep them in conversation,” shares Hashi.

Today, Hashi is a program assistant and works part-time in occupational therapy, serving children with disabilities under the age of three to five years old.  

What happens after 21 years old?

For Hashi’s siblings, a crucial time came when they each turned 21, as that is the cut-off age for school programming for kids with a disability.

“Due to the lack of government funded after school programs, people with disability after 21 years of age usually stay at home as there is a long waiting [lists] to get into programs suitable to their needs,” says Hashi. 

"[P]eople with disability after 21 years of age usually stay at home as there is a long waiting [lists] to get into programs suitable to their needs.”

 

She says that such programs are a support for caregivers too, and allow the young person not to lose what they have learned from school.

“My siblings [have been] home for a couple of years, and [are] alone with depression and low self esteem; it’s hard to deal with their ordeal,” she shares. “If we take programs privately, it starts at $90 a day, which is unaffordable with multiple siblings [with a] disability.”

Rabia Khedr, executive director of the Canadian Association of Muslims with Disabilities, runs a program in Mississauga, Ont., DEEN (Disability Empowerment Equality Network) support service, which is an extended-hour day program and works on the capacity building of individuals with disabilities who have aged out of school programs.

“It will be an 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. program,” explains Khedr, “and gives enough time range to caregivers – particularly those who are striving to earn.”

The school has a sliding scale fee structure and the rest is fundraised through charitable donations.

In the long run, Khedr is planning a residence service, especially for people with disabilities who do not have caregivers. She shares that in Ontario alone 12,000 people with intellectual disabilities are waiting for housing.

Khedr’s extension of the school in Ottawa, where Hashi will provide some of her services too, is at the initial stage and individuals with disabilities will get three hours of activities on Sunday only starting in the new year.

"[W]e want at least medication to be cost-free for all.”

 

Making ends meet

Every year on Dec. 3 is the International Day of Persons with Disability. The theme in 2015: Inclusion matters, access and empowerment of people with all abilities.

According to the department of finance, in 2011 the Canadian federal government transferred almost $4 billion to low-income families and spent $19.9 billion on Employment Insurance benefits alone.

Still for some, medications, dental care and eye check-ups are not included. And in the cases of people with disabilities things like electronic gadgets, crutches, wheelchairs and scooters to assist in daily life are also not fully covered.

“They have to hire special vans to take these individuals from place to place. This all has a cost,” says Hashi. “And we want at least medication to be cost-free for all.”

Khedr says that people who don’t have the experience of poverty won’t understand how choices can become increasingly limited when a person is on welfare assistance.

She suggests, “The solution lies in a combination of a few hours of activity and government funds.”


Journalist Priya Ramanujam mentored the writer of this article through the NCM Mentorship Program.

 

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

 

Published in Health

by Aziza Hirsi in Toronto 

In July 2015, three sisters – Ilhan, Hodan and Ayan Ibrahim – launched Qurtuba Publishing House, an Islamic publishing company based out of Ottawa. 

The company is committed to reclaiming the stories and perspectives of Muslims and engaging in the sharing of knowledge for both Muslims and non-Muslims. 

“[We want to] help shift the narrative by producing relevant content on issues Muslims are facing today in the contemporary context and [provide] practical solutions on how to overcome these problems,” says Ilhan, the CEO of Qurtuba Publishing House. 

Health and wellness for Muslims 

One of the areas that Qurtuba is focusing on with its work is health and wellness in the Muslim community. 

Ayan, the managing editor and co-founder, is preparing to publish her book, The Health Conscious Muslim: One Muslim Woman’s Journey of Navigating the World of Health and Fitness, which draws on her experiences to become healthy and active. 

Especially for Muslim women ... we all think about it, [but a healthy lifestyle] is not accessible to us.

“Coming from a Somali background, our cultural foods are very much based in high fats, high sodium, high sugar content fat,” says Ayan, who works as a nurse and draws on her medical experiences. “We have to eat it in moderation.” 

“Looking from a health standpoint, we are consuming a lot of unhealthy food in our cultural food,” she adds. “A lot of Somali people and Muslim people are feeling the consequences of that.”

“We have a high rate of diabetes, [the risk of having a] stroke is also prevalent in our community. And [there are many who] are overweight.” 

A major part of the problem with accessing such information is the lack of literature from minority voices. 

“Health isn’t at the forefront for Muslims,” Ayan explains. “I think, especially for Muslim women, we dream about it, we all think about it, [but a healthy lifestyle] is not accessible to us.” 

Many echo similar thoughts.

“I want to lead a healthy lifestyle,” says Iman Togone, a student at the University of Toronto. “But I don’t know where to begin. It’s very difficult to find healthy and affordable alternatives to junk or fatty food.” 

Togone also express concern about finding a way to balance her love for traditional Somali food with a healthy lifestyle.

“Having a book written by someone like me would help me overcome other barriers as well, such as finding a women’s gym to exercise or one that has women’s hours that are convenient.” 

Reenas Mohammed, a second year student at the University of Toronto, says it’s difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle when your family does not. 

“Being healthy is critical especially as you get older,” Mohammed says. “Being able to look to someone like me who is able to break down the steps to being healthy is a significant inspiration.” 

Non-western perspectives 

For the founders of Qurtuba Publishing, the lack of educational material on non-western perspectives is another area of concern. 

“We love to learn, however, the information we wanted wasn’t available,” Hodan, the company’s marketing manager, says. 

“I studied political science and international relations and – as much as I love western thought – … there was such a lack of content [on the…] Islamic perspective.” 

"[A]s much as I love western thought – … there was such a lack of content [on the…] Islamic perspective.

“Why aren’t there more books catering to contemporary Muslim intellectual needs?” Hodan asks. “And why isn’t there a diversity of topics … that [address] the contemporary needs of Muslims?”  

These same questions and concerns may have spurred the establishment of Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist, as well as other religious and Islamic, publishing companies. In this regard, Qurtuba Publishing House is not necessarily unique, but where the company aims to go further is its commitment to share knowledge. 

“What makes us different from other publishing houses is that we provide practicality of those books,” Ilhan explains. 

“We are hoping to take our books that we are producing and actually create workshops to help people develop those tools and those skills to overcome those problems they may be facing in their families, in their personal lives, in their spirituality, [and] in their communities.” 

Qurtuba's vision was what first caught Mohammed's attention when she found out about the publishing house. 

“I was impressed with their commitment to helping Muslims grapple with modern day problems like debt, conflicts with parents and self development,” she says. 

“We didn’t start [this] company to make money.”

Solving a social problem

Where many other publishing companies have been established solely for profit, Qurtuba was established out of a commitment to social justice.

“Being someone who comes from an immigrant community or marginalized or minority community, we just naturally have an affinity with that type of thinking,” Hodan explains.

“We didn’t start [this] company to make money,” she says. “We wanted to solve a social problem which was how do we help create more economic resilience in Muslim communities?”

“How do we start supporting a new narrative?” Hodan continues. “How do we contribute constructively to mainstream discussions [as well as] how Muslims think about themselves [and] how other people who are non-Muslims think about us?”

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Arts & Culture

Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
No - 46.2%
Don't know - 23.1%
The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

Featured Quote

The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit

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