CPACT is a business association with the primary objective of fostering stronger commercial relations between Pakistan and Canada. Our Offices details are as follow:
3333 Boul. Graham, Suite 700
Mount-Royal, QC, Canada H3R 3L5
Tel: +1 514-360 5200
1212 Dundas St W, Suite B
Mississauga, ON, Canada L5C 1E2
Tel: +1 647-478 8264
Tel: +1 647-709 7816
517 Siddique Trade Center
Gulberg Lahore Pakistan 54000
Tel: +92 432-576 4524
firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: +1 514-360 5201
‘‘It really is an honour to be nominated’’
I have always been a huge believer in giving back to my community – whether it’s the geographic community I live in, my cultural and spiritual community, or the greater community of people that make up this great country. I’ve taught my children that volunteering their time and talents is one of the greatest gifts they can give. I work hard to be more than just “that woman in a hijab” but “that woman helping people, who happens to wear a hijab”.
I strive every day to be a positive role model not only for my kids but also for all of the Muslim kids, teens, and adults who don’t see themselves represented positively in the media. When I do interviews on television, radio, in print media, and now as a member of the media, I am able to represent my culture and community in a positive light and shine lights on aspects of our culture that may be misunderstood or misrepresented otherwise.
When I found out I was nominated for the Community Builder award through the Canada Pakistan Affiliated Chamber of Trade (CPACT), I was humbled. I’d written about the upcoming awards ceremony in an article in the Gazette, which really drove home the importance of the award and the need for positive representation of the Pakistani Canadian community both within and beyond the community itself. You know the saying “it’s an honour just to be nominated”? It sounds really cliché, but it’s totally true. I was so incredibly thankful just to have been recognized, but then when I found out I’d won? Amazing. If you’re wondering just what a community building award encompasses, I don’t blame you – it’s a broad term and could mean many things. Here’s the criteria CPACT uses for their award:
This award recognizes an individual/business who has made a superior contribution to furthering the culture and climate for professional volunteerism and incorporating the essential elements of leading volunteers. The recipient, through his or her personal model, exemplifies the ideals of selfless contribution to community that professional volunteer administration nurtures.
The award was decided by votes – and it was incredibly hard for me to ask my friends and followers to vote for me. It felt like some kind of shameless self promotion, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that pushing aside those insecurities and putting myself out there would be a big benefit to all the young people who felt like I did – that it was okay to work hard but not to ask for recognition. Sometimes, you get a chance to be the example you needed when you were younger, so I took the plunge, asked for support, and won!
I felt like a princess on the night of the gala in a dress custom made for the occasion by Balbea – and my cheeks hurt a little from all the smiling I did. It’s one thing to know you’ve won an award, but then to receive it at a gala with everyone applauding is a little surreal. The support I received from my online community when I posted pictures was truly incredible. As I said in my Instagram post, Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for me, supported me and believed in me. Being a visible and religious minority public figure has not come without its own set of challenges but to every little girl who might not look like everyone else but has big dreams, this one’s for you.