In this paper, an exploration of a first-generation Shia Ismaili Muslim Canadian female’s experience as a young brown-body child is depicted. Through an autoethnographic methodology, witnesses to the complex narrative of this young girl will gain insight into how (female) children navigate and negotiate spaces on the borders of and in the in-between of social locations. We learn about the tensions in the intersect of race, ethnicity, gender and religion through the telling of a child’s experience at religious education classes and during faith-oriented (institutional) community programming such as Girl Guides. We are presented, through an interactive discussion, potential ways for caregivers and practitioners to sit in such tensions with young (female) children and the power of having an ally in such complex social spaces. Through a collaborative and engaging dialogue, presenter and audience members, will find themselves whirling in this young girls re-telling, only now years later with language that was once unattainable.
Sessional Instructor, School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria
As a Shia Ismaili Muslim, born and raised in Calgary Alberta, I have always tested the boundaries of what it means to be a Muslim, although it is important to note that my boundaries have never been as defined as those many of my brothers and sisters in other Muslim denomination may face. I have an undergraduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Waterloo, perhaps a degree you do not witness many Muslim's obtaining, and a Masters and Doctoral Degree in Child and Youth Care. My current research interest is in how children and youth work through understanding, expressing, and utilizing their religious and/or spiritual beliefs, values, and practices in their daily lives. During my spare time you may find me running along the beaches of Victoria, BC, playing recreational field hockey, running international youth programs, and hiking in the great outdoors.