5 Things You Need To Know About Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui

By Maleekah Ar-Rahiman

Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui is a Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Sheridan College. Born in England, she is Afghan-Pakistani who is now living in Canada.

Ghaffar-Siddiqui is an award-winning public speaker and a media commentator, who is a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Communications & Policy Expert.

Here are the five things you need to know about Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui.

  1. It all started with Canadian Council of Muslim Women

When Sabreena joined the board of Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Toronto in 2016 as a communications executive, she realized the potential of storytelling. She was interviewed frequently and gave many public speeches, which made her realise that she enjoys speaking with people and telling stories.

Her talk on The National about 'Islamophobia in Canada' put her on the map as a media commentator.

  1. Sabreena is proud of the little moments in life

“One grand moment does not define one’s success,” said Sabreena. She prides herself on the little moments in life and sees them as little piles of dirt that come together to form the hill one eventually stands on.

Sabreena is proud of the nights she stayed up writing an exam while nursing a sick child. She is proud of the days where she would drive three hours on a hot day in a car without an AC to attend her grad classes in Waterloo. And she is incredibly proud of the moments where she would challenge a white man or woman in debate, in classrooms and meetings, on-stage and in newsrooms to help change the narrative around racialized/Muslim women.

  1. She enjoys and values grassroots events

Small grassroots events, organisations, clubs, social media pages is what Sabreena enjoys most. She feels more empowered when she is working alongside the do’ers rather than the say’ers.

  1. Alternate career choice: Entertainer!

Sabreena would have loved to explore acting and dancing. She probably would have gone into theatre and would’ve liked to run her own dance studio.

  1. The key to women leading: Community Support

"If one of us falls, the rest of us will also fall," said Sabreena. She believes that if every woman supports and lifts up the women in their circle, it would create a reverse domino effect where you would see the dominos being pulled up by each other rather than being put down. All the women knocked down by a patriarchal system would start rising up.

Countdown Questions:

Five items in your purse: Other than the obvious (keys, wallet, phone); pen, Tasbeeh, hair scrunchy, chapstick and safety pins (don’t ask).

Three words that epitomize women’s empowerment for you: Confidence, self-determination and resolve

Two words your friends use to describe you: Passionate and resilient

A fairy-tale princess, historical or modern-day queen or leader you admire: Jacinda Ardern – the Prime Minister of New Zealand, who is showing us all that empathy is the backbone of leadership and that so-called “soft skills” are perhaps more valuable than we have been led to believe our entire lives.

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