With one day left for the much-awaited 4th Annual Being ME Women’s Conference, it is only expected that sisters all over Canada are eagerly planning to spend their Saturday in downtown Toronto. Being ME is a yearly conference held in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in March, and is run by some of the most inspiring Muslimahs in the country.
The conference boasts a powerful array of options for women to pursue. From practical workshops and tutorials, to life-changing lectures, to creative shopping opportunities — there will be more than enough to do in a day for any one individual. To know more about the event, read our interview below with one of the conference’s vibrant organizers, Shaheen Auckbaraullee (Marketing Department Lead) where she elaborates on the rest of the awesomeness Being ME has to offer!
ISNA Lanterns: What is the significance of Being ME for you, personally?
Being ME: As an organizer, it’s wonderful being part of a team with whom you learn, share and grow with throughout the year. On the day of the conference, you’re not just physically smiling because of the hard work that you’ve put in to making this conference happen. Rather your entire self is smiling from the core of your heart. It is for this reason that I look forward to Being ME every time it comes around! Knowing that each and everyone one of us comes with a story and reason for improving oneself via Being ME. This experience helps me build the bonds of sisterhood, reach out to the community through service and bring together 4000 sisters striving to become better people.
ISNA Lanterns: What makes this year’s conference different than the years before? Anything exciting you are looking forward to in particular?
Being ME: Our focus this year is to provide an inspirational and transformational experience for every attendee. If we can create even a single moment for sisters to renew their faith and come closer to Allah, then we have succeeded in our goal.
This year we also focused on various events throughout the year in addition to the main conference. Back in November we held an event called Resilience which featured Muslim women from across the GTA. They spoke about their personal challenges and how they overcame them by maintaining their faith. The Legacy Tour was an event where we highlighted the achievements of female historical figures in Islam. We learned about their diverse backgrounds, difficult circumstances and the incredible feats that they achieved. Both of our events were intended to provide Muslim women the courage and confidence to attain their goals, create their own legacies and empower our Muslimahs!
At this year’s conference we’re also featuring an incredible line up of female speakers, film screenings, hands on tutorials at the Sisters Corner and recitations by the winners of this year’s Qur’an competition. In addition, we will be hosting the Play and Pray Children’s Conference alongside the regular program. Finally, we are excited to be hosting the first annual Building ME Seminar on March 8th, 2015! This intensive one-day retreat will be a unique opportunity to interact with the speakers and build the bonds of sisterhood.
ISNA Lanterns: How would you say your event is accessible to all?
Being ME: The Being ME team has put a lot of care and consideration into this event. We selected a venue that is easily accessible by those driving or taking public transit. We have also arranged a bus service for sisters attending from around the GTA, Kitchener, Newmarket and London. In addition, our team of volunteers has been actively looking for sponsors to assist sisters who cannot afford to attend the event. Finally we arranged for closed captioning, note takers and deaf services.
ISNA Lanterns: Tell us more about the talent show! We’ve heard great things and know many sisters are particularly excited about it.
Being ME: The talent show is one of my favourite parts of Being ME. We aim to showcase the many talents of Muslim women, from Quran recitation, spoken word, art exhibitions and so much more! It’s really fun watching our sisters demonstrate their talents. It also encourages other sisters to find their passions and share it with the world!
ISNA Lanterns: Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Being ME: Our theme for this year’s conference is Quran: The Compass to Compassion. We chose this theme because of the simple yet powerful role that compassion plays in our day-to-day lives. From maintaining family ties, forgiving those who wrong us, overlooking the faults of others and being kind to our neighbours, compassion is an essential to the character of a believer. In the Qur’an, we find a roadmap on how to develop this beautiful quality. InshaAllah through this conference, we will use the Qur’an to purify our hearts, perfect our character and develop compassion within ourselves and in the Muslim community.
We thank Sr. Shaheen for her time with ISNA Lanterns, and thank all the Being ME organizers who have put in much effort to make the conference a reality. ISNA Lanterns hopes to see all 4000+ sisters there in less than a day’s time for a fantastic Saturday.