Board Members

Executive Members

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Chair

Zeib Jeeva, O.Ont.

Zeib is an international social entrepreneur, working in a variety of ways to support disadvantaged people. He is the Managing Director of Cover-All Computer Services Inc., an IT company based in Markham, Ontario, focusing on technology solutions for the education sector. After decades of volunteering with IDRF (International Development and Relief Foundation), including as Treasurer and Vice Chair, he now serves as Chair of the Board of Directors.

In his capacity as a humanitarian Zeib is attached to several charities and was also the founding member of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund Canada, He is also on the Board of Licensed To Learn as Chair and serves on the Board of Mandela Legacy Canada as Treasurer. He is a member of the Board of Reh’ma Community Services and has formerly also served on the Board of Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation. He is a recipient of the Order of Ontario and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.

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Chair, IDRF Global Monitoring

Winston S.L. Kassim, C.M., MBA, ICD.D

Winston is the immediate Past Chair of IDRF, having served for 2 terms, and currently sits on the Executive Committee as the Chair, IDRF Global Monitoring. After retiring from RBC in December, 2015 with more than 35 years of banking experience, the last 10 years with executive responsibility for Strategy and Strategic Performance Management, he began consulting with RBC on special strategic projects with the Office of the CEO. He also sits on the Board of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and the Board of Canadian Museum of Indian Civilization. In 2009, Winston was recognized for his extensive volunteer services in community, economic development, and advocacy for groups and individuals as a member of the Order of Canada. In June 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal. Winston holds an MBA from Athabasca University, and is a Certified Corporate Director (ICD.D) as a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors

 

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Vice Chair

Javed Akbar

Javed holds Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, is a Management Accountant by profession, and has a passion for advocacy for social justice. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the June Callwood Campaign Against Child Poverty (JCCACP). Javed is engaged in inter-faith ventures beyond the dialectic. In addition, he was the returning officer for the 1997 federal elections for the Markham riding. His opinion columns have appeared in the Toronto Star on social justice issues as well as ethical and spiritual matters.

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Vice Chair

Reza Rizvi

Reza is a professional with over twenty years of management experience in the computer graphics industry specializing in feature film, television and video gaming. He has worked for industry leaders like Apple Computer, Autodesk Inc, Alias Systems and Avid Technology. He also has a long history of volunteerism and is committed to helping those in need. Over the last two decades, he has led various efforts related to charitable and disaster relief projects in South Asia, Eastern Europe and Central America. In 2005, Reza co-founded Children of Hope which today is a federally registered charity helping fund the education of orphan children. He has served as Executive Vice President for the Dalhousie University Students’ Union and has held positions of responsibility with several civic and charitable organizations.

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Treasurer

Afiq Subedar (CPA, CMA)

Afiq is a Finance Executive with expertise in Strategic Planning, Risk Management and other finance tools. Afiq is a CPA and has applied his financial knowledge and business proficiency in several key positions and currently holds the position of  Director of Finance   at  one of the world`s largest automotive suppliers.

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General Secretary

Nurhan Aycan (J.D.)

Nurhan is a partner of the international law firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP in the Business Law group. Mr. Aycan is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Turkish Islamic Trust and continues to serve on the IDRF By-Laws, Governance & Ethics Committees.

Executive Member at Large

Yasmeen Siddiqui (M.St.Oxon)

Yasmeen has served on several administrative tribunals including the Immigration and Refugee Board, the Landlord and Tenant Board and currently on the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board. She has consulted with the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees in Jordan, Iraq and Sudan. She joined IDRF in 2007.

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Hamsa Diab

Hamsa is a marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in business management and event planning. She has worked extensively in the Hospitality Industry and excels in strategic planning and customer service. Through her creative marketing concepts and leadership skills, Hamsa has supervised several successful events including a fundraiser for IDRF`s Syrian Refugee Crisis project.

Marzia Habib-Hassan (LLB, MSW, RSW)

Marzia works as a social worker and relationship consultant with individuals, couples and families. After obtaining her masters in social work, she started Family Connections International, a psychotherapy practice based in Toronto and online. Marzia also chairs the board of Jaffari Support Services, a faith based social services agency that she helped found in 2008. In 2013, Marzia was honoured with the Canadian House of Commons award for Outstanding Volunteer Achievement in recognition for her contributions to various minority communities in Toronto, in the fields of family strengthening and women’s empowerment.

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Mukhtar Rahemtulla

Mukhtar is the co-founder and CEO of AutoVision Wireless Inc. The Company specializes in fleet management and has Bell Canada as one of its larger customer. He is a recognized industry expert in the technical and commercial aspects of mobile data communications. In his previous position as Senior VP, Infosat Telecommunications, a division of BCE, he led the growth of the start-up Company to $54M and a world-wide presence. Mr. Rahemtulla obtained his Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from the University of British Columbia. He received his early education from the Aga Khan School in Uganda and the Royal University in Malta. His extensive community service includes supporting non-profit organizations working in various parts of the world. He is also an active hiker, squash and tennis player.

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Seema Rizvi

Seema is a human resources professional with years of experience working in multinational corporations. She has recently set up her own business, consulting with clients on their CVs. Seema has a Bachelor of Arts degree in employment relations and sociology from the University of Toronto. She has volunteered in many initiatives including organizing a fundraising event for IDRF in the fall of 2010 for Pakistan Flood Relief, which brought in approximately $52,000. Seema was team Captain for the 2009 Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, coached children in an after school program, was a supporter and volunteer of the “Out of the Cold” program, and is an annual participant in the United Way CN Tower Climb.

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Mina Salarti

Mina Sarlati is a teacher and Iranian translator who was a long standing member of the former North York Board of Education (now the Toronto District School Board) for 13 years. During her tenure at the TDSB, she held diverse positions in the Board, including Multicultural Language Assistant and Consultant that focused on providing first language assessment for English as a Second Language (ESL) students, developing language resource materials, and providing professional development and language training for Canadian newcomers.

Since retiring from her position with the TDSB, Mina has volunteered with a number of charities in the GTA, including the Canadian Cancer Society, the Iranian Women’s Organization of Ontario, the Bam Fundraising Committee, Paradise Charity Foundation, and the Kahrizak Foundation of Canada.

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Shahzad F. Siddiqui

Shahzad is the Managing Partner of Abrahams LLP and practices in the areas of Islamic finance, complex commercial and tort litigation, and wills & estates. Through his diverse practice areas, Shahzad advises entrepreneurs, partnerships, corporations and non-profit organizations through several stages of their life cycle. He has advised start-up companies that have ultimately listed on the TSX-V. He has also been involved in some of prominent legal actions in Ontario. He is the author of several publications and he has chaired conferences on Islamic finance in Toronto, Kuala Lumpur, Philadelphia and New York. Shahzad speaks English, Urdu/Hindi and Mandarin Chinese.

Advisory Board

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Dr Fuad Sahin

Dr. Fuad Sahin is the chief Founding Member of IDRF who in September 1984, along with three other concerned Canadians, signed the IDRF charter. A doctor of medicine and an Islamic scholar, Dr. Fuad Sahin is considered as one of the first Muslim settlers in Canada. He arrived in Canada in 1958 with his wife and three children, completed his medical training and eventually settled in 1966 in Niagara-on-the-Lake. For decades Dr. and Mrs Solmaz Sahin have opened their hearts and their home to Muslims and to people of other faiths. He was instrumental in helping launch other organizations such as the Council of Muslim Communities of Canada and the Islamic Foundation in Toronto, and has been the imam of the Islamic Society, Niagara Peninsula since 1966. Dr. Sahin has also been very active in Inter Faith dialogues.

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Charles S. Coffey

Charles S. Coffey is a native of Woodstock, New Brunswick, where he started his 44-year career with RBC Financial Group. Mr Coffey is the former Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Business Development for RBC. His leadership, proven record and reputation in private, public and not-for-profit sectors across the country has resulted in several appointments and special honors, including an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from Trent University for his “extraordinary contributions to society through community leadership” in 2006. Mr. Coffey was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2004.

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Aisha Bhabha

Aisha Bhabha is one of IDRF’s foremost volunteers who remains actively involved in the community as a humanitarian. She has a special and extensive association with the IDRF Special Events Committee and as such works untiringly throughout the year to plan, organize and implement a variety of fund raising events and to create awareness for social justice.

Dr Cassim Bhabha

Dr. Casim Bhabha practiced as a Family Physician in Toronto, Ontario, beginning 1968 until his retirement a few years ago.

Deeply concerned about the plight of those whom he terms as ‘the poorest of the poor’, he has been one of the most dedicated supporters of IDRF since 1988. He was twice elected as its President and he currently serves on the Advisory Board.

Dr. Bhabha has a long history of community participation and is the founding member of the Talim-ul-Islam Burial Fund. He also actively supported the Voter Education project (VESAC) for the marginalized, black South Africans to help them participate in the historic South African elections of 1994.

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Dr Cassim Degani, MD

Dr Cassim Degani, MD is an Endoscopist and General Surgeon practicing in Canada since 30 years.

He is a fervent believer in volunteerism and service, and has been routinely offering his skills as a physician during calamities in numerous countries. For over two decades Dr. Degani has responded to major natural and man-made disasters by taking time off from his work to travel to such places, set up medical camps and assist the survivors with medical assistance. Over the years he has conducted such missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Haiti, to name a few.

He has a long history of involvement with IDRF, including being elected as Chair of the Board for two terms. Currently he sits on the IDRF Advisory Council, and also serves as IDRF South Asia Division Medical Expert.

Dr. Naeema

Dr. Naeema Degani, MD

Dr. Naeema Degani  is a physician practicing in Canada since 1983 and has undertaken many humanitarian treks to disaster zones. She has volunteered her medical services in countries such as Kosova, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. She has dispensed free medical services, as well as conducted training to support staff on general health care, maternal-child care and standard health practices, in an effort to show that, regardless of how sparse a health institution is, cleanliness and proper care can greatly improve the health of patients and prevent the spread of diseases.

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Dr Rafi Mustafa

Dr Rafi Mustafa is a past Chair of IDRF and the current Director of CPBC (Canadian Pakistani Business Council). He received his Ph.D. from the University of British Colombia in 1970 and entered the field of computers during the 60s.

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Since then he has continued to be treading the path of innovation in technology while continuing his research in several areas of science. He has published 19 research papers in the field of chemical physics and his academic career spans over four continents. Dr Mustafa continues to be a front line supporter of IDRF.

Dr. Abida

Dr Abida Usman

Dr Adiba  Usman has worked as a family physician in Ontario for almost 30 years. Well known as a philanthropist, she supports a variety of charitable causes, especially those that are aimed at the well-being of vulnerable children and women. She is an avid supporter of the Yellow Brick House project which empowers abused women and children by giving them support to rebuild their lives. Internationally, she is an advocate for literacy in under-developed regions and is attached to the Zindagi Trust schools that educate children who work in the urban slums of Pakistan.

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Khalid Usman

Khalid Usman has always been a champion of people in difficulties, working tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of people in need. From raising awareness and funds to helping communities around the world that are devastated by natural disasters, wars or poverty, to initiating and organizing local events, he actively promotes an environment of peace and harmony.

Khalid has given his time and energy to many organizations besides IDRF like the Markham-Stouffville Hospital among many others and is also the recipient of the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal; the Tamgha-e-Khidmat and the Medal for good citizenship (OMC).