Thursday, August 27, 2009

Muslims in Canada

I'm writing this after a delay of almost a month... Wow, it's hard to believe my time in London is over! (for the time being, that is) I loved all the drawings I made over there - drawings that I now plan to put into book form (this is one of my projects - more on this later). Meanwhile, I've been busy setting myself up back in Canada. One of the little side projects I've gotten into while back is being asked to create some illustrations based on the theme of the book Diaspora By Design: Muslim Immigrants in Canada and Beyond by Haideh Moghissi, Saeed Rahnema and Mark J. Goodman. The book interviews 2,350 Iranian, Pakistani, Afghani, and Palestinian immigrants on a wide range of personal, religious and political topics. Along the way it successfully busts some damaging stereotypes. It also takes seriously the unfortunate "culture of fear" that exists beneath the veneer of tolerance even in a land as diverse and accommodating as Canada. Of course not everyone participates in this culture but enough people do, in my opinion, that such a book is both warranted and welcome. In essence, I feel the book celebrates the diversity of Canadian Muslim life, and this is what I've tried to capture in these simple drawings of Muslims from the countries mentioned in the book. So you have the urban Iranian Muslim woman in a fashionable scarf and black blouse smiling broadly, alongside a pious elder Afghani man deep in prayer. Also there's the bright eyed Pakistani boy and a veiled woman in a burka, whose eyes also tell a story (if I've succeeded in drawing her right, that is). I'm proud to have made these drawings upon my return to Canada - it's a fitting start and a nice first project. Incidentally these drawings are for the upcoming October issue of the Literary Review of Canada (LRC). Check out the LRC website at


zaari said...

how can i contact u

Tom said...

Hi Zaari,
you are welcome to go to my website (link on the right) and email me.

Look forward to hearing from you,