Canadian Muslims celebrate achievements

Canadian Muslims celebrate achievements

Canada’s Muslims celebrated the achievements of community members at the inaugural MAX Gala, the Muslim Awards for Excellence, held last Thursday evening at Toronto’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

“Tonight we are here to celebrate the good that Canadian Muslims have done in our community,” said Aazar Zafar, Founder of the MAX Gala, in his welcoming remarks.

The elegant event was a gathering of the Who’s Who of the Canadian Muslim community and included many prominent political, social, religious and civic leaders.

Premier Wyne

“Today, Ontario is proud to be home to a large and diverse Muslim community,” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a pre-Gala appearance. “This community has made its mark in business, in the arts, in academics, in public service and in all spheres of our public life.”

“I want to congratulate tonight’s award winners. Individuals like you help build a strong community within a dynamic and prosperous Ontario.”

Canada’s Prime Minister sent a special video message to the Gala and a number of federal ministers and Members of Parliament were in attendance, including Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs) and Ahmed Hussen.

Justin Trudeau

“Tonight, not only do we gather to recognize the accomplishments of the individual award winners, but we should also celebrate the important contributions to Canada that our Muslim community has made, and continues to make, to our multicultural landscape,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted in his address. “ As a nation, we draw strength from our diversity, and these awards are an important way to underline the benefits of inclusive collaboration and understanding between cultural communities.”

Ontario’s Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, and Toronto’s Mayor, John Tory also addressed the Gala.

Mayor John Tory

“I would like to congratulate all of this year’s recipients and recognize their hard work and dedication that have earned them this special award,” remarked Mayor Tory. “I thank them for the well being of our communities.”



The MAX Gala took place on March 24, 2016 at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto. Here is a quick video of the night . MAX Gala #maxgala2016

Posted by IQRA on Thursday, March 24, 2016

A number of awards were given out honoring individuals and organizations for their contribution and achievement. Awards included the MAX Platinum Award of Excellence, MAX Woman of the Year, MAX Friend of the Year, MAX Entrepreneur of the Year, MAX Charity of the Year, and MAX Emerging Venture of the Year.

Scholarships were also awarded to outstanding high school and university students.

“When a group of us started working on MAX, we realized there was a good amount to celebrate,” said Aazar Zafar, Founder of the MAX Gala. “However, we were astounded by the high number of amazing contributions to Canadian society that existed from a divers group of Canadian Muslims.

“We received 248 Award Nominations and separately, 141 Scholarships, well in excess of our targets.”

Dr. Mohamed Lachemi, Interim President of Ryerson University, and Zaib Shaikh, Toronto Film Commissioner delivered keynote addresses.

Dr. Lachemi, nationally recognized for his pioneering research contributions, advised the audience to be active citizens in building a better Canada, “If you want to be part of building this great country and city, reach out and embrace it.”

University Scholarship winners
Congrats to the winners of Maimoona Wasi Ahmed Memorial, Shamoon Ahsan Memorial, Sajda Khatoon Memorial, and Mohammad Humayun Zafar Scholarship for Sciences and Engineering Scholarships!. Ryhana Dawood, Raafia Siddiqui, Malak Elbatarny, Abdulkarim Muhaseen
High School Scholarship winners
Congrats to the winners of Walied & Deena All-Star High School & the Ike Ahmed University Entrance Scholarships! Samaa Kabbar, Mubeena Mistry, Yara Elsharkawy
Emerging Ventures of Year Award
MAX Emerging Venture of the Year WINNER – Natural and Organic Oils by Balance. (OBB)
Dr Hind Al-Abadleh
Dr Hind Al-Abadleh
Hussein Hamdani
Hussein Hamdani
Dr Fariha Khan
Dr. Fariha Khan
Dr. Danyaal Raza
Dennis Edney
Dennis Edney
Mohamed Fakih
Mohamad Fakih
Zaib Shaikh
Zaib Shaikh
Chrystia Freeland
Minister Chrystia Freeland
Mohammed Lachemi
Dr. Mohamed Lachemi
Mayor John Tory 2
Mayor John Tory and Zarqa Nawaz
Aazar Zafar
MWC Charity of the Year
Muslim Welfare Centre

Audience 2

Ritz-Carlton hotel

Ritz-Carlton hotel hall

Ritz-Carlton hotel table




MAX Booklet