Kind, articulate and an excellent communicator, the Executive Director of the Islamic Society of North America – Taha came to Canada as a teenager in 1996. After completing his high school studies in Mississauga, ON, he earned a Bachelor of Religious Studies from the University of Toronto. Taha comes from a family of three children; his mother is an entrepreneur and his father teaches accounting at a college. Taha’s first work experience was in communications and digital marketing at Toronto’s Sound Vision.
While developing communications strategies for clients, volunteering became increasingly important in his life. As an active member of Toronto’s Muslim community, Taha joined the advisory board of the Muslim Studies Program at Emmanuel College of the University of Toronto. He also serves on the board of DawaNet, an organization that manages MuslimFest, the largest Muslim festival in Canada with thousands of participants coming together for concerts, a bazaar, traditional food tastings and artistic events. This same group rallied to help Muslims affected by the terrorist attack at the Grande Mosquée in Quebec in January 2017. The organization even made a significant donation to Mr. Aymen Derbali, a survivor of the attack who was sadly rendered quadriplegic. For this reason, Taha supported the production of the documentary Your Last Walk in the Mosque.
In 2009, Taha flirted with death, almost drowning at Algonquin Park. The incident was a pivotal moment that would change his life and have him question his legacy to society. Today, the father of three makes serving the community the centre of his life. In his words, the values of our society are like vegetables in a garden. They need hard work, upkeep and monitoring to grow. The implementation of social justice, inclusion, cultural diversity, freedom of expression and religion, and the protection of democracy is not free from challenges or sacrifice. Muslims, as such, must adapt their cultural practices, be inclusive and maintain a dialogue with all Canadians. Through these common efforts, the fruits of our labour such as altruism and the desire to give back to the community will grow. This shift toward Canadian society is precisely at the heart of a large plan that is currently in development within his organization. It involves supporting the development of youth, a shared commitment to national issues and providing services to the community that are accessible to all, including frontline services, food banks and social services. He hopes to be a catalyst for positive change in Canada. The task is immense but exciting. Consider the conditions of Indigenous people, support for the Black community or the challenges of environmental governance.
When asked to offer some words of advice, the young leader recommends developing leadership skills and becoming a team player. Volunteer in your community; acting generously is worth its weight in gold.