The Salaam Project is a social movement and brand which aims to advocate for Canadian-Muslim Alliances by increasing Muslim welcoming spaces and spreading the compassionate and unifying Islamic principle of Salaam to inspire meaningful connections amongst Canadians, in all our diversity.
“Salaam” is a greeting that is used between the diverse range of people within the Muslim community. Engaging with one another first as human beings worthy of compassion and respect is the first step in cultivating meaningful dialogue to promote more peaceful relations, the ultimate goal of the Salaam Project.
The movement and brand proposes that public spaces and organizations have a physical Salaam symbol in their space. This symbol showcases alliance towards the Muslim community, whereby Muslims may feel welcomed, accepted, and embraced, and serves to sustain the peaceful messaging of Salaam. The brand and social movement utilizes the impact of artistic expression while tying in Islamic values to social justice advocacy to demystify and tackle Islamophobia.
Meet the Founder - Nuha Dhooma
Nuha Dhooma is the founder and creator of the Salaam Project. Nuha is a Canadian Born Bi-racial (Syrian and South African Gujarati) who currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta. Nuha holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), where the Salaam Project was first conceptualized.
Nuha is a compassionate leader dedicated to encouraging community building and education on a global scale through peace and respect. Her passion for social justice and mental health is far reaching, but she is specifically passionate about issues that affect the Muslim community, such as Islamophobia.
Currently working at @ifssa.serves, Nuha is the primary bilingual “Intake and Support Worker” in which she connects with clients to assess their holistic needs, providing support in outreach, advocacy, financial assistance, emotional support, and system navigation as needed. Nuha is also the co-leader of the Collective Care team, a team building and care initiative, and works the Helpline.
In her spare time, Nuha cares for her two beautiful cats, Sully and Aslan, and enjoys expressing herself creatively through artistic means, including painting and fashion.
Some words from the founder:
It brings me great joy and excitement to be introducing Salaam Project.
The Salaam Project is an initiative I feel strongly passionate for, and I pray that it’s messaging will foster safe, just, and peaceful spaces through the unifying essence of Salaam through Muslim allyship and advocacy of Muslim welcoming spaces.
The Salaam Project was conceptualized for a class project that aimed to bridge artistic expression and social justice. When I deliberated upon what to create and how I could tie it to a social justice element, I immediately gravitated towards the beauty of “Salaam.” Beyond the beauty of arabic word in its calligraphy and sound, I reflected upon how the unifying and non discriminatory essence of the peaceful greeting could be a reminder and tool for fostering peaceful interactions and spaces. Moreover, I reflected on how there is a gap for a movement and symbol that could serve as a way for individuals, services, and organizations to express a commitment to being anti-islamophobic through being Muslim welcoming. With these two thoughts in mind, the Salaam Project was created. The project began as a simple painting for a class project, and with the support and encouragement of my dear professor Dr. Ken Moffatt, my family, and friends, I felt empowered to take the idea outside the classroom and into the world.
This initiative would not be made possible without the support of my beloved father, Ebrahim H. Dhooma, Dr. Moffatt, and my project mentor, Karen Scott. MCASS granted me the opportunity to continue working on the Salaam Project through my fourth year placement in 2021 – 2022. I was recruited as a Multiculturalism Project Officer under the Canada Summer Jobs 2022 to further the work of the Salaam Project to envision, embody, and encourage safe, just, and peaceful spaces for all Canadians; goals in total alignment with multicultural, equity, and diverse policies of the country.
I thank my father, Dr. Moffat, and Karen wholeheartedly for their empowerment and guidance. It has been a true blessing, both professionally and personally, to have their wisdom and consideration throughout the development of this project. Through their character, contribution, and care, I am reminded of the essence of Salaam. For this and more, I am endlessly grateful. I am also grateful for all faculty and staff at TMU who have educated and inspired me, and to my fellow students for their encouragement and endorsement of the project.
I give sincerest thanks to the project’s sponsors, Student Initiative Fund (SIF) and Toronto Metropolitan Association of Part-time Students (TMAPS) from Toronto Metropolitan University for their generosity in investing in the Salaam Project’s objectives and message.
Project Launch - You’re Invited
Join us for the official project launch on November 23rd 5:30-8:30 at the Thomas Lounge on Toronto Metropolitan University campus. A sit-down dinner will be followed by a Keynote Address and guest panelists, and a time for networking.