On the Shoulders of a Giant: Building a Community of Canadian Muslim Female Chemists

On the Shoulders of a Giant: Building a Community of Canadian Muslim Female Chemists

By Dr. Hind Al-Abadleh and Aazar Zafar

The life and work of Jabir Ibn Hayan (722-815), the Father of chemistry known to Muslims, or Geber in Western sources, inspired the launch of a new scholarship for Canadian Muslim women in graduate chemistry programs.

This scholarship aims at recognizing the academic accomplishments and community engagements of self-identified Muslim female graduate students.

A team of accomplished chemistry professors and researchers will review and rank the applications.

The scholarship, valued at $2500, will be presented to the winner at the 2017 Muslim Awards of Excellence (MAX) Gala in Toronto.

The launch of this scholarship was motivated by the research findings on diversity and equity in chemistry published in June 2016.

Our vision is to build a generation of Muslim female chemists who are highly trained to apply chemistry knowledge to tackling the most pressing issues facing humanity.

More specifically, challenges include those that affect water, energy generation and storage, climate, life below water and on land, consumption, and production, health and wellbeing.

To realize this vision, we aim to empower and mentor cohorts of graduate students who display excellence in their academic records and dedication to community engagement and service.

We invite you to spread the word, encourage students to apply for this scholarship, and join us in supporting this new initiative so that we reach out to as many candidates as possible.

Let history books write that in the 21st century Canada, there were Muslim female chemists who, inspired by their faith and Islamic heritage, contributed their knowledge and expertise to transitioning societies to a more sustainable future.

Dr. Hind Al-Abadleh is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON, Canada.  She could be reached via email: halabadleh@wlu.ca.

Aazar Zafar is a Chartered Accountant who works as a Portfolio Manager in the Strategic Relationships & Portfolio Intelligence Group at OP Trust.  As part of his volunteer community work, he is the Founder of MAX Gala, a not for profit aimed at celebrating and motivating positive contributions of excellence by Canadian Muslims to Canadian society and the