Muneeb Nasir

Country of Origin:

Guyana

Themes:

Immigration, Human Rights & Social Justice, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity, Adjusting to Life in Canada

Photos:

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Bio

Muneeb Nasir is a native of Guyana and is a writer, public speaker and well-known community leader and social activist. Over the past few decades, he has founded a number of major institutions and been actively engaged in numerous non-profit organizations and projects.

He is the Executive Director of the Cordoba Centre for Civic Engagement and Leadership and the President of the Olive Tree Foundation. Muneeb is a member of the National Muslim Christian Liaison Committee and an advisor on the Community and Patient Advisory Council of the Scarborough Hospital. He is also the Managing Editor of the online magazine website, IQRA.ca and a freelance contributor to a number of online web sites.

Muneeb is a frequent guest speaker at institutions where he promotes greater inter-community and interfaith understanding and active citizenship.

He is a visiting Imam (Muslim chaplain) at various mosques/prayer facilities in the Greater Toronto Area and on university campuses where he delivers the sermon and conducts the Friday Prayer services.

Muneeb worked as a senior business and systems professional at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for over two decades. Educated at the University of Toronto, University of Guelph, and University of Ontario Institute of Technology, he lives in Toronto with his family.

Story

I was born in Georgetown, Guyana and arrived in Toronto on June 10, 1973 along with my parents and sister. My parents’ intention was to eventually return to Guyana after my sister and I had completed our post-secondary education.

It was an exciting time for me as I was a teenager and, coming from a small country, Toronto opened up new possibilities.

In the 1970s, Toronto was a much different place – the immigrant and visible minority populations were smaller and so was the cultural diversity.

I went on to complete my Grade 13 in Scarborough and then I was off to the University of Toronto and eventually to the University of Guelph to complete a degree in agriculture.

My choice of career was very much influenced by our desire to return to Guyana but the economic and political situation there was uncertain at that time so we decided to remain in Canada.

That decision to remain here meant adopting Canada as our home and we did so by becoming actively engaged in the civic life of Toronto. My parents would become actively engaged in volunteering and non-profit activities going on to establish a large mosque in Scarborough.

My parents’ activism was a boot camp for me and would influence me to become actively involved in volunteering while I was at university and in the Toronto community.

In the 1980s, it was not easy for a visible minority, agriculture graduate to find a job in southwestern Ontario so I went back to school and trained in the Information Technology field, which offered the best job prospects at the time.

I would go on to a career in the information technology field, first working in the private sector but eventually going into a job at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario where I spent 24 years as a senior systems and business analyst before retiring in 2013.

Non-profit work has been a passion for me and, over the years, I have been involved in many projects and NGOs in the city.

I strongly believe that we must contribute to our community and country to make it a better place.