SHORT BIO (long bio follows)
Saima Jamal is a well-known Calgary based social activist, community organizer, humanitarian, and volunteer social worker. She speaks publicly on refugee and immigrant issues, activism, anti-racism, religious discrimination and women’s issues. As the past Program Manager of the Consortium for Peace Studies at the University of Calgary and the current Co-Founder of the Calgary Immigrant Support Society, formerly the Syrian Refugee Support Group, Saima uses a unique multi-faith, multi-cultural and multi-community approach to mobilize 1000s of Calgarians to make our city the most welcoming place for newcomers to live and thrive. Saima’s years of peacebuilding efforts and compassionate work as a peace activist included program development that educated Calgarians on different ways Canadians grappled with local and national calamities and conflict resolution domestically as well as conflicts in Myanmar, South Asia, Middle-East, Africa and Latin America. Her work also covered the fight against deviant extremist groups, curbing radicalization in Calgary, and finding reconciliation for religious conflicts and sectarian issues.
SAIMA'S AWARDS/ RECOGNITION
2002 Winner, Most dedicated student volunteer, Pakistan Canada Association
Co-Founder, Syrian Refugee Support Group Calgary (re-branded as Calgary Immigrant Support Society)
President, Social Capital Society
Outreach Officer, AB Party Caucus
Social Capital Tournament Coordinator, Calgary Centre for Global Community
Social Activist, Calgary
Accreditation's Coordinator, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary
Program Director, Calgary Islamic Chamber Institute
Program Manager, Consortium for Peace Studies, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary
Program Administrator, Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary
President of Canadian Federation of Bridge Builders – Alberta Chapter
Board of Director of Project Ploughshares Calgary
Organizing Committee Member, 2020 Vision for Humanity Network
Founding Member of the Jewish Muslim Council of Calgary
Saima Jamal is a community organizer as well as a Calgary based peace and justice advocate who works passionately in improving the world by working for human rights, conflict transformation, interfaith, political activism, gender issues, humanitarian aid, climate justice, food justice, social justice, educational initiatives and issues of compassion. Saima is well-known in Calgary for co-founding the Syrian Refugee Support Group Calgary known now as the Calgary Immigrant Support Society and for mobilizing 1000s of people to work towards making Calgary a global voice for peace in the Israel Palestine conflict, Pakistan’s fight against terrorism, global war against deviant terrorist groups, curbing radicalization in Calgary, finding reconciliation for sectarian conflicts in Iraq and Syria as well as civil war in South Sudan. She is an invited speaker in community events, a youth mentor, volunteer coordinator and various event’s hosts. From 2010 to 2018, Saima organized around 10-12 events every year that enhanced the consciousness and education of the Calgary community in various local and international issues. Through her position as the former Program Manager of the Consortium for Peace Studies at the University of Calgary she engaged students, academics, members of the public and different community organizations toward organizing, promoting and supporting initiatives like the Calgary Peace Prize, the Calgary Peace Run, the Uprising Playwriting competition for Peace, Politics and Society, the Summer Institute in Peace-building and the Peace Talk Speaker Series. As the founding Program Director for the Calgary Islamic Chamber Institute, she strives to create business networking opportunities that unite Muslims and non-Muslims together in the pursuit of business and professional development by purposefully partnering with businesses from diverse backgrounds, finding and sharing simple and effective best practices and above all bringing the voice of Muslim women in these networks that transform business and sustain success. As founding past President of the Alberta Chapter of the Canadian Federation of Bridge Builders, she successfully established 7 Bridge Builders Scholarship Award for high school students to combat racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other religious and cultural discrimination. As key member of the 2020 Vision for Humanity and Board of Director of Project Ploughshares Calgary, she organizes the annual symposium on human security worldwide and the Memorial Lantern Event for nuclear abolition. Saima is the recipient of the Community Hero by South Asian Excellence Awards, Community Advocate by M.O.S.A.I.C, People’s Choice Peace Award, Alberta Civil Liberties Award, YMCA Peace Medal Nominee (twice), recipient of Calgary’s Dashmesh Centre’s Certificate of Appreciation for Distinguished Service in the Sikh Temple and Hayatul Muslimah’s Certificate of Recognition as a community Role Model. Along with her community work, Saima worked at the University of Calgary for 15 years and is a mother to a son named Alif.
Saima Jamal has a unique charisma, enhanced by her calm enthusiasm, her attentiveness to those around her, her vision and enterprising spirit, and her astonishing capacity for effective, timely task completion. She draws people to her not just because she gets things done, but also because she seems driven by an enthusiasm totally unrelated to any interest in self-promotion. If I were to think of a "big picture" of a truly inspiring future for human beings, and then look closely at the pixels in that big picture, many of those pixels would look a lot like Saima." - Dr Arthur Clark, founder of the Consortium for Peace Studies, University of Calgary, founder of Calgary Centre for Global Community, Queen's Diamond Jubilee Winner, Retd Neuro Pathologist, Professor Emeritus at the University of Calgary and Captain (Retd.), U.S. Army Medical Corps.
"Saima has been a tireless advocate for social justice and peace in Calgary. I continue to value her important work to bridge the cultural divide between Islam and western religions and cultures. Thank you Saima!" -
Dr David Swann, MLA Calgary Mountainview
Media Recognitions of Saima’s work