Board of Directors
As one of CMW’s founding members, Ghazala has witnessed the non-profit’s tremendous growth. She feels honoured to have been part of all stages of organization’s development by volunteering in various roles, from leadership to event planning to strategic planning to being a CMW speaker to providing trainings, etc. Her involvement with the CMW has helped her grow as a person, a professional, and a community leader by learning and enhancing organizational development skills. Ghazala says the non-profit is an integral part of her life. She has made friends with people coming from different parts of the world. Ghazala is always willing to adapt to the changing needs of the CMW, switching roles as needed. The CMW greatly benefits from her insights as a registered social worker and a skilled psychotherapist. Ghazala is trained in several therapeutic treatment modalities, providing effective help to teens, adults, couples, and families based on their needs, beliefs, and value system.
Howida Sayeed Ahmed
Howida graduated from the University of Khartoum with an undergraduate degree in Mathematical Science and later enrolled in the Conestoga College’s Computer Programming and Analyst program in Canada. She has 15 years of experience in information technology, business analysis, and systems and application analysis. Howida is passionate about doing community work and helping others. She sits on different committees and organizations, including Mubaraka, which is an international aid organization supporting orphans. Howida is also on the Sudanese Canadian Association’s committee. As one of CMW’s founders, she holds the non-profit close to her heart. Howida says she finds great motivation and strength in the passion of CMW members. She hopes the organization’s work will continue to make a positive change and help Muslim women become great leaders in the community.
Mariam currently works as the Head of Internal Audit at Stelco Inc., a Canadian steelmaker. She has over 17 years of experience in internal and external audit and has worked with various companies, including Open Text, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and international accountancy firms in the UK and Pakistan. She has worked extensively in the IT sector and has been a merger & acquisition and country risk leader.
Mariam has a number of Canadian and international accounting, auditing and project management designations under her belt. She is a board director at the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce (GKWCC) as well as a Southwestern Ontario committee member with the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), which supports professional development programs for accountants and auditors across the region. Mariam is also involved in the Waterloo Region Women in Communication and Technology – Mentoring Circles Program, as well as International Women’s Day events organization.
As a Muslim woman herself, she recognizes the work CMW is doing to bring opportunities to racialized women in the region to expand their access to employment, reduce discrimination, and utilize their untapped potential. That’s why Mariam wants to bring her extensive professional and board-related experience in governance and risk to the CMW. She wants to use her skills and expertise to help other women succeed in their goals.
Elise has more than 30 years of experience doing non-profit and charitable work in Canada and overseas. Her recent volunteer and consulting work includes working within Canada and on overseas projects with charities that offer services and support for Afghan people. In 1989, Elise worked in refugee camps in Pakistan, providing support during Ramadan and help at hospitals, libraries, apiaries, carpet weaving trainings, etc. She is a founding member and former board of director for Dar-ul-Ihsan Centre for Islamic Education in Cornwall that offers programs related to girls’ education, community outreach, and addressing Islamophobia through interfaith programs. Elise is well-versed in setting up non-profits and registering them as a charity. She’s skilled at various non-profit related tasks, such as reviewing financial statements, final project reports, developing databases, accounting systems, financial reporting, seeking out funding from eligible sources, and developing by laws.
An interior designer by profession, Bahiyye is the founder of Design by Bebo, a staging and design business. She has been a CMW volunteer and member since 2018 and has helped plan the non-profit’s events. Bahiyye has an undergraduate degree in Architectural Engineering from Beirut Arab University and a diploma in Interior Decorating & Design from Mohawk College. She also has 10 years of experience in staging and design in Waterloo Region and Hamilton. Bahiyye is a member of the Canadian Arab Women’s Association. She is a community activist that has made an impact on many people’s lives and continues to do so with her volunteering. Bahiyye volunteered with a multi-partner food drive at the beginning of the pandemic and also participated in activities with a variety of community organizations, such as WE Society, partnered with Wilfrid Laurier University, Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre, Strong Start Charitable Organization, Habitat for Humanity, Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington, and Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.
Nasreen has more than 10 years of experience working as a journalist and communications professional with media organizations and non-profits in Canada and India. She has worked as a writer and editor and managed communications and social media accounts for several non-profits in the past. Nasreen’s work includes writing as a columnist for various newspapers, including The Waterloo Chronicle, Toronto Star, Cambridge Times, and The Daily Mail. She has also produced well-researched stories and news packages while working as an editor with national newspapers. A trained mediator, Nasreen graduated with a Master in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Waterloo. She holds a undergraduate degree in Journalism, as well as a post-graduate degree in Political Science. Nasreen is currently working as the marketing and communications specialist with the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth. She is also working as the director of communications with Capacity Canada. Passionate about social justice, Nasreen has written extensively about social issues, including racism and discrimination in Canada, Islamophobia, and gender equity. She has been a volunteer with the CMWfor three years. In 2021, Nasreen joined the non-profit as a board director.
Tahira comes from a diverse educational and professional background. She has years of experience working as a physician and is certified as a Canadian Red Cross First Aid Instructor. Tahira is also incredibly passionate about public speaking. During her free time, she likes to conduct presentations for various non-profits and social groups in the community about first aid. Tahira hopes to keep using her exceptional communication skills, whether through a presentation, monologue, or training to continue and educate and those around her.