Since coming to Sudbury from Lebanon over 40 years ago, Maha has been a pillar of the community and an inspiration and support to new Canadians. With the ability to speak several languages (English, French and Arabic) and with expertise in cross cultural communication, Maha has been both a translator and cultural interpreter for sponsors and new immigrants, both formally and informally. She has worked as a translator for medical, educational, legal and social services in Sudbury, most recently on a volunteer basis. As a mother of three sons and a grandmother, a worker at Sears and a school volunteer, she inspires her children to achieve academically and contribute to the community. Partnering with her husband, Imam Abdul-Hak Dabliz, at the Sudbury Mosque, Maha graciously welcomes groups and individuals to answer questions pertaining to religion and/or cultural expectations for Muslim Canadians. She has played a significant role in welcoming and settling new Canadians, most recently, the Syrian families who have arrived in Sudbury since December 2015. Maha models strength and resilience for all women through her dedication and volunteerism. One notable example is the support she offered one young new-immigrant woman feeling fearful in a strange land, during the birth of her baby. Maha is a committed volunteer in the Islamic Association of Sudbury, the Sudbury Mosque, the Multicultural and Folk Arts Association of Sudbury and the Sudbury Interfaith Dialogue. In May 2010 Maya was presented with the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Volunteer Service Award for thirty years of dedicated volunteerism in the Islamic Association of Sudbury. She was given the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association Award to recognize her extraordinary fundraising efforts for the construction of the Mosque, although her main goal was to “have a place for newcomers”. She responds to expressions of gratitude and admiration with an insistence that what she does is “nothing special”. Yet others view her as a true humanitarian, an ambassador of global peace, a community builder and a compassionate friend to all.
This post is also available in: French