‘An Engaging Inspiring Peaceful Calm and a High Caliber Event’ by Harinder Dhahan

End of the 3rd Sequence – Sunera Thobani, Surjeet Kalsey, Deanna Reder, Harsha Walia, Darshan Mann – with Hina Imam, Sameena Siddisui, Sana Janjua, Hafsah Durrani – photo by Sophia Eugeni

Celebration of Pakistani & Local Women Heroes

‘I along with my brother, sister, daughter and a niece were privileged to attend the Celebration of Pakistani & Local Women Heroes. It was an eyeopener to watch and realize how much adversity and hardship women go through to fight for their own and others’ rights. They take and are still taking daring steps to bring justice and equality. The women heroes advocated in diverse ways – through protests, dance/artistic performances, writing/publishing and providing safe spaces for women to express themselves.

‘The celebration was well organized with creativity, thoughtfulness, love and respect for all. The women who took the initiative to recognize, honour and celebrate the work being done by the women heroes are already walking in the footsteps of those great women fighters in order to continue their work. The presenters conducted this program in such a way by which they got the audience fully engaged. For example, when the presenters would light the candles, take off their flowers and attach them to the wreath after each segment, it gave the audience time to let the stories resonate and be an integral part of the whole program. All the participants/speakers were welcomed to the stage with genuine and sincere respect.

‘Just as the heroes’ work needs to continue, these events should continue to reach a wider audience in order to bring awareness about what’s happening in the women’s world and how women are trying to reach out by putting their own lives in danger.

‘All the organizers and helpers may have put in countless hours, effort and collective energy to produce such an engaging, inspirational, peaceful, calm and a high clibre event. I would like to commend the excellent work you have done. All the best in your future endeavors.’

View our objectives and goals.

Women Who Named the Unnamed is a project of
Surrey muse Arts Society (SMAS)

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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Canada’s Women Heroes : Harsha Walia

Women who Named the Unnamed
Celebrate the (here and) Now

Harsha Walia
author/activist/organizer

Community First, Movement Second:
A Short Bio of Harsha Walia

By Jessica Barratt

…the most important feature of powerful
social movements, is an affirmation of community
.’
– From ‘Young, Brown and Proud:
Personal purpose and political activism’ by Harsha Walia

Connection requires a crossing of boundaries. It requires seeing one thing in another without disturbance of difference: that old mean thing still snipping at the threads we THE PEOPLE weave when we breach the gap between ourselves and another, when we see ourselves as one. And it seems these days that those who are best at connecting were born to difference, too. With wide focus, they can see it for what it truly is and pass through as if there were no boundary at all—grasping at those other strands with ease and bringing the rest of us gratefully along.

Like Harsha Walia, who has taken up the threads of so many; who has brought us many times through the boundary of difference only to reveal that our causes (the things we want and strive for most) are more connected than we could have ever believed. That it doesn’t matter where we cross through, but rather, that we do it together.

Born in Bahrain and now living in Vancouver (unceded Coast Salish, Treaty 8 territories), British Columbia, Harsha bears a legacy of being both a part of a struggle, and an experiencer of it: both fighting for the rights of South Asian, Indigenous, and other marginalized communities, and against the vestiges of Canadian colonialism (and post-colonialism) through continued activism close to home. At the same time, she extends her critical views into controversial action, tackling the closely-related injustices still thriving all across Canada and even bravely addressing the United Nations—among other political bodies across the globe.

As she puts it in a 2013 interview: ‘…the drive for me around activism [is] really both of those things – wanting to be involved for struggles around freedom and liberation wherever they take place, and seeing that as part of a global system, and bearing witness to the impacts of borders and the ways in which they tear apart communities in real and violent ways.

Harsha has in fact been hailed as one of Canada’s most brilliant and effective organizers. In 2001, she co-founded one of Canada’s prolific anti-colonial, anti-racist, and anti-capitalist migrant justice movements, No One Is Illegal (NOII), and in 2003 began assisting with the Skwelkwek’welt Protection Centre toward land protection aims, among other related Indigenous-focused causes. She has further accumulated the interests of minority and marginalized communities through her work supporting Ide No More, the Defenders of the Land Network, and the South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, forever cultivating her unique knack for drawing people together under a joint banner: equality.

Dually involved with anti-poverty and feminist activism through her work as a project coordinator for the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre – where she facilitates a Power of Women group – Harsha has also actively been involved with several other Downtown Eastside housing justice coalitions, and continues to evoke the passions of those similarly drawn in supporting the struggles of other vulnerable, poverty-stricken groups searching for change.

For over a decade, Harsha has therefore contributed her voice and self to these and other often-neglected causes brought up by NOII—like deportation, incarceration, land claims, violence, privacy and consent, and education. She has been a fundamental force shaping long-standing events like the February 14th Women’s Memorial March, and the Annual Community March Against Racism. In 2010 alone, she not only stood her ground during the No Olympics on Stolen Native land convergence – later that year risking arrest and facing detention herself on behalf of her support during the G8 and G20 protests in Toronto – but again committed to an act of protest that saw her arrested during a national day of action for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Harsha has of course received several accolades for her work – she is for instance a recipient of the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives Power of Youth Award and Westender’s Best of the City awards in Activism and Change-Making – but this hasn’t stoppered her motivation for pursuing still-needed change. Today, she continues to be an active board member with Shit Harper Did, and is a youth mentor for Check Your Head, where she passes on incredible insights on how to be a change-maker, and how to make sure one’s voice is heard in harmony with the cries of others.

While her preference for opening up conversations surrounding migrant solidarity and gender violence do take precedent through much of her activist work, Harsha has become more comfortable exploring her own perspectives as both a woman of colour and a successful organizer of large movements through writing. Credited with over 30 publications ranging in subject, Harsha has time and again highlighted the collective anti-imperialist struggles of minority peoples all across Canada.

It is perhaps her first full-length publication though – Undoing Border Imperialism – which best captures Harsha’s uniquely precise outlook on connection and movement-building.

Connected to this piece around undoing border imperialism is, as movements, how do we undo the bordered logic within our own movements,’ says Harsha of the work. ‘That really ended up being the inspiration for writing this book – hoping that it was in the service of something more collective.

.
Jessica Barratt is a literary enthusiast, feminist, and creative writer. The proud owner of JB Editing, and manager of online blog wordsofhers.com, Barratt continues to captivate readers with fearsome short stories as she works toward the completion of her inaugural novel, Domingo.
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Women Who Named the Unnamed
Pakistan’s & Local Women Heroes

Saturday, September 28, 2019
6 – 9 PM
Centre Stage
Surrey City Hall
13450 – 104 Avenue
Surrey, BC, Canada V3T 1V8
Phone: 604-591-4011

Buy your ticket online at this link:
tickets.surrey.ca
Tickets $25
Box Office : 604-501-5566

More information
Women-who-named-the-unnamed
In-gratitude-we-celebrate-our-women-heroes
View our objectives and goals.

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.

..

Buy Your Ticket for ‘Women Who Named the Unnamed – Pakistani & Local Women Heroes’


We are happy to announce that the Box Office at the Surrey City Hall is now open for this celebration of women. Your participation will allow us to express our gratitude to Sabeen Mahmud (1975-2015), Fahmida Riaz (1946-2018), Asma Jahangir (1952-2018), Madeeha Gauhar (1956-2018), Sarah Suhail, Sheema Kermani, Kishwar Naheed, Hina Jilani, Huma Safdar, Mukhtar Mai from Pakistan, and, Sunera Thobani, Surjeet Kalsey, Harsha Walia, Darshan Mann, Deanna Reder, and Katheren Szabo, a Surrey Woman of Courage.

Buy your ticket online at this link:
tickets.surrey.ca
Tickets $25
Box Office : 604-501-5566

Women Who Named the Unnamed
Pakistani & Local Women Heroes

Saturday, September 28, 2019
6 – 9 PM
Centre Stage
Surrey City Hall
13450 – 104 Avenue
Surrey, BC, Canada V3T 1V8
Phone: 604-591-4011

More information
Women-who-named-the-unnamed
In-gratitude-we-celebrate-our-women-heroes
View our objectives and goals

Project funded by
City of Surrey Cultural Grants, Hari Sharma Foundation, Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature, Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia (UBC), South Asian Studies Institute, University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), Centre for India and South Asia Research, University of British Columbia (UBC), Fraser Valley Peace Council (FVPC), Department of Language and Cultures, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU)

Presented by
Surrey Muse Arts Society (SMAS), South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), Committee of Progressive Pakistani Canadians (CPPC)

More information
pakistanswomenheroes.wordpress.com
pakistanswomenheroes@gmail.com

LIKE our Facebook page
facebook.com/pakistanswomenheroes
Follow on Twitter
@heroes_pakistan

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

..

‘Women Who Named the Unnamed : Pakistani & Local Women Heroes’ – Saturday 28 Sept 2019 – Centre Stage – Surrey City Hall


You are warmly invited to participate in a delightful experience of coming to know in one evening 15 wonderful women of our time. Presented by five Hosts, this three-hour stage show uses short videos and props to communicate the ‘feel’ of women’s work and contributions to our cultures and societies. From Pakistan, Sabeen Mahmud (1975-2015), Fahmida Riaz (1946-2018), Asma Jahangir (1952-2018), Madeeha Gauhar (1956-2018), Sarah Suhail, Sheema Kermani, Kishwar Naheed, Hina Jilani, Huma Safdar, Mukhtar Mai, and, we will also be honored by the presence of the following distinguished guests:

Sunera Thobani
Scholar/activist/author, Vancouver CA
Surjeet Kalsey
Poet/author/translator, Burnaby CA
Harsha Walia
Author/activist/organizer, Vancouver CA
Darshan Mann
Theatre actor/activist/organizer, Surrey CA
Deanna Reder
Scholar/author/historian, Vancouver CA

Women Who Named the Unnamed
Pakistani & Local Women Heroes

Saturday, September 28, 2019
6 – 9 PM
Centre Stage
Surrey City Hall
13450 – 104 Avenue
Surrey, BC, Canada V3T 1V8
Phone: 604-591-4011

Tickets $25
Box Office : 604-501-5566

Project funded by
City of Surrey, Cultural Grants, Hari Sharma Foundation, Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia (UBC), South Asian Studies Institute, University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), Centre for India and South Asia Research, University of British Columbia (UBC), Fraser Valley Peace Council (FVPC), Department of Language and Cultures, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU)

Presented by
Surrey Muse Arts Society (SMAS), South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), Committee of Progressive Pakistani Canadians (CPPC)

More information
pakistanswomenheroes.wordpress.com
pakistanswomenheroes@gmail.com

LIKE our Facebook page
facebook.com/pakistanswomenheroes
Follow on Twitter
@heroes_pakistan

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

..

In Gratitude we Celebrate our Women Heroes

In gratitude, and with immense joy, we recognize and celebrate life by telling the stories of some of the most inspiring and courageous women of our time- the women without who our local and global histories(!) can not be complete.

Recognize and Celebrate

A Surrey Woman of Courage
Katheren Szabo, poet/activist/survivor, Surrey CA

Tribute to the Brilliance
Sabeen Mahmud (1975-2015), arts activist/poet/organizer, Karachi PK
Fahmida Riaz (1946-2018), poet/publisher/activist, Karachi PK
Asma Jahangir (1952-2018), lawyer/human rights activist/author, Lahore PK
Madeeha Gauhar (1956-2018), theatre director/producer/actor, Lahore PK
Sarah Suhail, queer feminist activist, Lahore PK

Honor/Cherish the Continuity
Sheema Kermani, dancer/activist/mentor, Karachi PK
Kishwar Naheed, poet/author/organizer, Islamabad PK
Hina Jilani, lawyer/human rights activist, Lahore PK
Huma Safdar, theatre director/producer/actor, Lahore PK
Mukhtar Mai, organizer/leader/survivor, Muzaffargarh PK

Celebrate the (here and) Now
Sunera Thobani, scholar/activist/author, Vancouver CA
Surjeet Kalsey, poet/author/translator, Burnaby CA
Harsha Walia, author/activist/organizer, Vancouver CA
Darshan Mann, theatre actor/activist/organizer, Surrey CA
Deanna Reder, scholar/author/historian, Vancouver CA

We will tell these wonderful stories through our web page, and by producing short informative videos, posters, buttons, a booklet, articles and posts- leading upto the scheduled event in September.

Women Who Named the Unnamed – Pakistani & Local Women Heroes
Saturday, September 28, 2019, 6 – 9 PM
Centre Stage, Surrey City Hall, Surrey BC

Your support is urgently requested. Please do any or all of the following:

Follow the web page (bottom of the Sidebar)
pakistanswomenheroes.wordpress.com

LIKE Facebook page
facebook.com/pakistanswomenheroes

Follow on Twitter
@heroes_pakistan

Donate by contacting us at the link below
pakistanswomenheroes.wordpress.com/contact

For more information
pakistanswomenheroes@gmail.com

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

..