Zainab Arkani is Rohingya community leader, activist, and teacher. She and her husband started the first ever Rohingya weekend school in Kitchener, Ontario, where they teach Rohingya language and help Rohingya children excel in their studies. Zainab is the original writer of the first ever "I am Rohingya" production in Canada, which was a play funded by the Muslim Social Services of Kitchener-Waterloo. Zainab has spoken at numerous events & rallies for the Rohingya, and has even presented at the Parliamentary Subcommittee on International Human Rights. She and her husband have served the Rohingya community in Kitchener for 20 years; they have welcomed newly arrived Rohingya refugees and helped them resettle - as selfless volunteers - which they continue to do so to this date. For her outstanding services to the community, Zainab was given the Women Who Inspire award by the Coalition of Muslim Women of Kitchener-Waterloo. She is a genuine example of Rohingya women in leadership not only in Canada, but all over the world.
Shayne is an M.A. student in Peace and Conflict Studies from Winnipeg. Her research and advocacy has been focused on raising awareness of the ongoing conflicts and genocide in Myanmar with a particular focus on the gendered dynamics and impacts of the conflict and refugee response. She is active with various civil society organizations both domestically and internationally. She is a Co-Founder and Steering Committee member for the Canadian Coalition for Youth, Peace & Security and a Researcher for the US and Burundi based organization Fontaine-ISOKO.
Sadia has led the activities of Rohingya Human Rights Network in the Ottawa region through rallies, lectures, and active engagement with diverse civil society organizations. She is highly connected with societies that advocate for international social justice, and for the fight against Islamophobia, Xenophobia, and anti-Semitism. Among international causes, she is particularly engaged in the causes for justice in Burma, China, India, and Syria.
Jean-Francois is a consultant on issues of social justice and international development. He is the founder and former Executive Director of RESULTS Canada, the leading organization creating political will in Canada to contribute to ending global poverty. He has recently led the research and developed the methodology for the first report on ultra-poverty, i.e., the bottom segment of those living in extreme poverty worldwide. Jean-Francois brings years of experience in supporting the growth, development, and empowerment of citizen advocacy groups in Africa and around the world. Earlier, he had had a long career in the Federal Government, holding positions of Senior Negotiator, Director and Chief Federal Negotiator of Aboriginal Land Claims, and subsequently of Director General and Secretary General at the Public Service Commission.
Shaker is a native of Rathedaung and was brought up in one of the refugee camps in the Cox's Bazar - Teknaf region. He has worked with the UNHCR and several other NGOs and international journalists in the Cox's Bazar region to report the plight of the Rohingya. Shakir leads a network of volunteers that gather on-the-grounds information for the Rohingya Human Rights Network from inside the refugee camps. He also manages and runs a network of schools and training programs inside the refugee camps.
Raïss is a Rohingya from Akyab who is now living in Toronto. He has led campaigns, petitions, peaceful rallies, and new chapter formations of the Rohingya Human Rights Network. He is a renowned speaker at Rohingya forums and interviews, and his writings have been published in both national and international journals/newspapers. Following the 2017 massacre of the Rohingya, Raïss spent 1 month at the refugee camps; after which he presented at the Canadian Senate, as well as at the House of Commons. He has led numerous delegations for high level visits with policy makers and civil society organizations lobbying for humanitarian aid and international justice for the Rohingya. He has also led the community engagement for Rohingya exhibits at the Montreal Holocaust Museum, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and le Musée national de beaux-arts du Québec. Raïss is a Space Systems Engineer by profession, but his passion lies in development work on the grounds - he has lived and volunteered in long term development projects in Haiti, Ecuador, South Africa, and Bangladesh. Apart from leading the Rohingya Human Rights Network, Raïss also leads a network of education and vocational training programs at the Rohingya refugee camps and villages.
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