Hosts

Mariam Zohra D., Hafsah Umar Durrani, Hina Imam
Sana Janjua, Sameena Siddiqui

Mariam Zohra D.

Mariam is a poet, vocalist, and a multi-disciplinary artist combining music, video, drama, painting and poetry. Her first album, a collaboration with Unearth Noise called ‘Dreamspeak‘ was launched by Amsterdam’s Lullabies for Insomniacs in autumn 2018. She shares her songs via Soundcloud, and a collection of her poems, lyrics and drawings is published in ‘These Tales Are True‘ (Purple Poppy Press 2016). Her poems also appeared in ‘Saving Seeds’ (Ed. Valerie B.-Taylor, NWW 2014). She studied Philosophy and Creative Writing at Douglas College. Mariam published her first collection of poetry ‘Not to Understand‘ in Toronto in 1990 at age 14. Later, some of her poems appeared in Toronto’s Feminist Quarterly Fireweed, and in ‘Transitions’ a textbook anthology produced for Grade 10 students by Peel Board of Education. She also worked with Theatre In The Rough, a youth drama collective in Toronto. Mariam is a founding member and the President of Surrey Muse Arts Society (SMAS), and she also serves as its Graphic Designer.

Hafsah Durrani

Hafsah Durrani, born in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan moved to Surrey, BC, Canada at the age of 19 after getting married. Being a part-time student and a full-time homemaker most of her adult life, she gave birth to her daughter at the age of 21 and her son at the age of 25. She is an on-going volunteer for Scouts Canada where, with her fellow Scouters, she helps facilitate an environment where youth can learn various important skills through camping and outdoor adventures. Hafsah, along with both her children, is also working towards achieving a black belt in Goju Ryu Karate. She firmly believes that everyone should learn some from of self-defence in their lifetimes. Hafsah considers herself to be a lifelong student and is always looking forward to seeing what life has in store and what will help her grow more as a person. Hafsah relates to and is deeply passionate about the struggles and barriers that women all over the World face and feels honored to be part of the Pakistan Women Heroes Project.

Hina Imam

Hina Imam is a journalist living in Vancouver who previously worked in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan before moving to Canada to pursue a master’s degree at UBC. Hina writes about social justice, race and representation, gender, and urban issues. Growing up in Saudi Arabia as a daughter of Pakistani immigrants, she witnessed various violations pertaining to human rights and subconsciously knew that she deeply cared about this. Then studying in Pakistan, she saw how society treated women poorly and how culture and religion was often used against women. She says, she’s honored to be paying her compliments ‘to women who have immensely worked towards gender equality and a progressive society.’

Sana Janjua


Sana’s play ‘Migration’, written and directed for a group of Pakistani-Canadian youth, expresses the experience of loneliness and pathos of (forced) migration and exile. Her monologue ‘Smaller Names’ explores the dynamics of silencing of women’s voices/stories, and the trauma and shame they endure as they speak. As well, her poems and monologues focus on the invalidating environments produced by neoliberalism. Sana’s writings are published online at The Laaltain, Uddari Weblog and Mayanaam, and she has presented monologues at various cultural and literary events. Sana is now working on a full-length play and a chapbook of her poetry and essays. She is a Founding Member, a past President, and the current Secretary of Surrey Muse Arts Society (SMAS). A Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Sana enjoys working in the field of mental health, and to continue with her higher education goals.

Sameena Siddiqui

Sameena is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory (AHVA) at UBC. In her doctoral thesis, she is looking at the politics of intertextuality between print, photography, and cinema in the early 20th century India. She did her M.Phil from School of Arts & Aesthetics, JNU, Delhi and has presented her work in several international conferences and residencies.

We gratefully acknowledge
that we are on the unceded Coast Salish territories of
the Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen,
Qayqayt, Tsawwassen, Musqueam,
Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

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