Panel Moderator: Wafaa Hasan

wafaa_hasan.jpg Dr. Wafaa Hasan completed her M.A. in 2005 and her Ph.D. in 2012 in the  department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in  Hamilton, Ontario. Her Dissertation entitled, “Orientalist Feminism And The  Politics Of Critical Dialogue Between Israeli And Palestinian Women” was  nominated for the Governor General’s Academic Medal and CAGS/UMI  Distinguished Dissertation Award. She has published in Comparative  Literature and Culture: A WWWeb Journal (CLCWeb) and has recently co-  edited a volume entitled,  Countering Displacements: The Creativity and  Agency of Indigenous and Refugee(d) People with the University of Alberta  Press. She has written about Arab-Canadian politics in two recent chapters  called “How do we Speak? The Casting Out of the Canadian Arab  Federation” in Targeted Transnationals: Policies and Discourses Take Aim  at Arab Canadians published by theUniversity of British Columbia Press and “Arab Scholars' Take on Globalization,” co-authored with Dr. Bessma Momani in Thinking International Relations Differently with Routledge Press. She presented her dissertation findings at Women's Worlds Conference 2011 in Ottawa and through the Canadian Women's Studies Association at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in New BrunswickHer paper recieved wide acclaim and was featured on the Congress website as a highlighted presentation. She has guest lectured widely in university and community settings on a variety of topics including Islamophobia and Semiotics. As a teaching assistant she was nominated for an "Excellence in Teaching Assistantship" Award by students. Dr. Hasan served as Equity Officer in unit 3906 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) from 2006-2008 during which she spearheaded a movement to open a Women’s Center on the McMaster University campus. She was also the founding associate director for the Canadian Studio of Literary Cultures. She is currently finishing up her maternity leave and working on producing a monograph for publication of her dissertation research.

Walid El Khachab


After founding the Arabic Studies program at Concordia  University in 2004, Walid El Khachab has joined York in  2007 and is currently Associate Professor and Coordinator    of Arabic Studies, York University. He edited the collective volume: Arabes : sortir du  marasme? Published in Paris, Éditions Corlet, in 2004.  Since then he has published more than 40 chapters in books and academic articles on issues pertaining to Arabic cultures and with Islam, particularly national identities and modernity; the politics of mysticism; self representation in cinema, literature and popular culture.  He is the co-director of ACANS, the Arab Canadian Studies Research Group, based at the University of Ottawa. 

Omar Ramahi

omar_ramahi.jpg Omar M. Ramahi was born in Jerusalem, Palestine. He received his BS  degrees in Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering (summa  cum laude) from Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. He received his  Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University  of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He held post-doctoral and visiting  fellowship positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  under the supervision of Professors Y. T. Lo and Raj Mittra. He then  worked at Digital Equipment Corporation (presently, HP), where he was a  member of the Alpha Server Product Development Group. In 2000, he  joined the faculty of the James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland at College Park as an Assistant Professor and later as a tenured Associate Professor. At Maryland he was also a faculty member of the CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Center. Presently, he is a Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He has authored and co-authored over 300 journal and conference technical papers on topics related to the electromagnetic phenomena and computational techniques to understand the same.

Nevin Reda


 Nevin Reda is an academic, trained in the classical sources of Islam, whose work reaches out to both academic and grassroots circles.  She is currently assistant professor of Muslim Studies at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto, where she teaches modern and classical Islamic thought, the prophet’s biography, Islamic spirituality and other subjects in the new Muslim Studies track of the Masters program. Nevin’s research focuses on the Quran, often in relation to democracy, Islamic law, women or the Bible.  She has a particular interest in Surat al-Baqara, the longest of the Quran’s chapters, on which she wrote her doctoral dissertation, which analyzed the sura’s common theme and internal organization.  She also has a special interest in interfaith dialogue and has co-lead scripture-based interfaith dialogue seminars.  She holds an M. A. in Biblical Hebrew Language and Literature, in addition to her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Toronto.

Nevin’s scholarship connects to the grassroots through dialogue and community activism.  Her work in conjunction with the Canadian Council of Muslim Women has helped promote women’s religious leadership among other things.  She has been instrumental in bringing together various conversation partners which have contributed to the Muslim Studies program at Emmanuel College.  At the transnational level, her activism is often in connection with the Women’s Islamic Initiative for Spirituality and Equality (WISE), particularly with the WISE Shura Council, of which she is a founding member.  Her name occasionally appears as Nevin Reda El-Tahry.

May Telmissany


May Telmissany is Associate professor of Cinema and Arabic Studies, Director of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Ottawa, and founding member of the Arab Canadian Studies Research Group. She is the author of La Hara dans le Cinéma Egyptien. Quartier populaire et identité nationale (Presses Universitaires Européennes, 2010) and the co-editor of Counterpoints. Edward Said's Legacy (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010). Her scholarly articles published in France, the USA, Canada, Egypt and India discuss the representation of the popular neighborhood in cinema, the emergence of Minor cinemas such as Dogma 95 and the rise of transnational filmmaking in the past ten years. She contributed to film analysis of the cinema d'auteurs in her numerous studies on filmmakers such as Amos Gitai, Michel Khelifi, Nadir Moknèche, Denys Arcand, Majid Majidi, Mira Nair and Deepa Mehta. As an Egyptian intellectual and a novelist, she contributed to the struggle for a secular civil State in Egypt since the beginning of the Revolution in January 2011.