377 0 January 2019

“i consider myself a lifelong learner in every sense and recognize that all great minds before me who i’ve admired did not stop educating themselves once their formal degrees were complete.”
mim is 28 and a resident physician in psychiatry at the university of calgary. she is pictured at foothills hospital which serves as the backdrop of her education for the 5 years she trains to become a psychiatrist. her proudest achievement is getting into medical school because “it was the culmination of a lot of things: finding a career path that fit perfectly, fulfilling the immigrant parents’ dream; achieving the privileged status of “doctor”; and suddenly feeling liberated to now do all the other things i wanted to in life.” mim has many talents and passions in life, but her favourite quality about herself is her moral compass. she told me, “i feel empowered by my faith and my upbringing to remember that doing what’s right doesn’t change depending on which way the wind is blowing in society’s sense of morality that day. treating people with respect, not taking advantage of others, making the right decision whether anyone is watching or not—those principles remind me that i have grown to become a young woman with a sense of integrity” what’s most important to mim is to do things with passion, and that she surrounds herself with people who feel the same way. she continued, “i feel like anytime anyone feels obligated to do something, or does it out of some kind of expectation, the results are inevitably dry. anytime i’ve done things for the right reasons—because i truly believed in a cause—it’s been infinitely more rewarding.” mim’s biggest hope is “to inspire people to be their authentic selves and feel comfortable in their own skin as they’re pursuing their passions. i think unfortunately a lot of folks, especially in the muslim community, have had to quiet down a lot of their dreams and hobbies because they’re not conventionally fruitful or lucrative. yet i’ve seen time and time again that when my peers have dug deep inside to create something they want to, the outcome has been outstanding.”

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Combatting negative stereotypes of Muslim women by showcasing the diverse & inspirational stories of them Concept, photos & words by @aliayphotography