Meet our 2017 Fellows

Project Team motto - Teamwork makes the dream work

The Mujtama Fellowship is a program for young and enthusiastic community organizers and researchers, looking to contribute to the CAI mission of articulating the perspective and potential of Canadian Arabs and advancing their contributions to society. 



Hala Eltom
Research Fellow - Team Lead

Hala first moved to Toronto, Canada at the age of nine.  She studied Communication and Peace Studies at McMaster University, and moved on to obtain her Master’s degree in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies at the UN mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. As a communication professional, she is fascinated by the uses of social media during the Arab Spring uprisings which led her to pursue PhD research at the University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies.  When she is not writing or glued to her laptop, Hala enjoys spending her time traveling and learning Spanish. 



AbdulRahman Hamid
Research Fellow

Part of being grateful for what we have involves reflecting upon those who are less fortunate. This outlook has led AbdulRahman towards engaging with his community, in-depth and at-large, with goals of uplifting newcomers to Canada and pursuing a career in law and social justice. His passion for engaging with new immigrants and newcomers comes from his experiences as a refugee from Eritrea as a young teenager to Canada. The successes and the opportunities experienced through his adolescence have equipped him with an understanding and compassion for all Canadians for a more equitable and participatory society. His life-long love for Football (okay, Soccer) has been a platform for a curiosity of culture, ethnicities, history, and geography that resulted in amazing relationships and experiences with a diverse Canadian melting pot and citizens internationally via travelling. A self-professed news addict and avid stock market lurker, AbdulRahman prizes staying informed about daily events. If you speak Spanish, speak to Abdulrahman in no other language. 



Mary Kozak
Research Fellow

As a medical student, Mari Kozak developed an interest in mental health and translational research.  After completing her MD, Dr Kozak started working on her Canadian licensing exams and did some observerships in the psychiatry department at Canadian Mental Health Association and Mount Sinai Hospital. Being a research volunteer at CAMH exposed her to clinical research and more specifically, health services and outcomes research in psychiatry.  As a research fellow with Mujtama, her interests center on mental health diseases and related topics. She is interested in studying the effects of language barriers for immigrants and refugees and their ability to cope and integrate successfully.  Her focus in particular is to understand the difficulties that refugees face while learning English and to identify main targets that can help them effectively integrate with the Canadian society and participate in the work field as productive members.



Tariq AlMahdi
Community Engagement Fellow

With a Bachelor Degree in Public Administration and successful career in pharmaceuticals, Tariq recently arrived in Canada from Saudi Arabia.  With Yemeni roots, Tariq’s experience as a newcomer to Canada, motivated him to get involved in this program because he is passionate and dedicated to ensuring all newcomers are well aware of their rights and responsibilities, as they establish new roots and a new life in Canada. 



Mohammad Nasser Hajali
Community Engagement Fellow

As a Syrian newcomer in Canada, Mohammad grew up in Daraa city, south of Syria and recently moved to Toronto after living 4 years in Cairo, Egypt. Mohammad graduated from Cairo University with a bachelor degree in English Literature, and is currently studying Political Economy of International Development at University of Toronto, in preparation for his Masters Degree in the same field. He is interested in different issues related to Economic and Political Development, and very passionate about making a difference within his community and articulating their needs and contributions. He enjoys spending time with friends, cooking, reading literature, music, tennis, gym, and many more. His absolute moto in life is "the only limits we have are the limits we believe"



Khulud Omar
Community Engagement Fellow

Khulud grew up in a family that was always keen on helping others, it is a driving factor in her life.  Moving to Canada only 4 months ago from Saudi Arabia, Khulud is determined to pay it forward, sharing all her learnings so far to help other newcomers with what they need and where to find it. She is specifically interested in connecting with Seniors from the community, and working on programs and ideas that will increase their awareness about civic engagement and volunteerism.  



Ebti Nabag
Communications and Digital Storytelling Fellow

A graduate of Ryerson University’s MFA program Documentary Media, Ebti is a visual artist who works with photography, video, and installation. Her work is motivated by stories from the average human. Nabag’s previous exhibits include Movement in Tradition: Tobe (2016), Vitiligo at the AGO (2015), Intersections (2014) featured at the Contact Photography Festival, and I Am Not My Hair (2012).  She hopes her documentations serve as bridges between people and communities. Ebti is also a digital and analogue photography instructor.

This program was possible through programs funded by:

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This Fellowship project is in partnership with the Arab Community Centre in Toronto: