We extend our gratitude to Canadian Muslim leader Hussein A. Hamdani for contributing a sizeable gift to MiCA. Hamdani’s vital support for MiCA reflects his long-standing interest in capturing the history of a marginalized community. Establishing an archive to preserve the rich history and legacies of Muslims in Canada requires resources. We welcome these generous financial donations to help support this project and its long-lasting impact!
Hussein A. Hamdani is a lawyer and philanthropist who has long been concerned about the wellbeing of marginalized communities. A partner at Simpson Wiggle, Hamdani specializes in corporate, commercial, and real estate law. In addition to running a busy practice, he serves as President of the Hamilton Law Association. Hamdani has pledged $50,000 to support the Muslims in Canada Archives (MICA) as it begins expansion to new provinces/territories.
“I'm concerned that...my children, my nieces, my nephews, those kids who are being born and raised in Canada, they will not be hearing from the vanguard [Muslim] generation because they're passing away...And if we don't capture those stories, those stories will be lost.”
Hamdani’s interest comes with some urgency, as many elders who were among the earliest Muslims in Canada are no longer with us. For Hamdani, MiCA represents a site for the stories of Muslims across Canada to be made accessible to future generations.
Chief archivist, Aly Rattansi, offered insight into how this pledge will support the future of MiCA.
“We are currently operating in stealth mode as we prepare to make our rich collections available to the public. We are also working to open our reading room to researchers.”
Aly is glad this donation is coming at a time as MiCA is seeking to reach new milestones.
“[We have] created lasting relationships with major archival institutions, we continue to foster relationships with Muslim communities, we are uploading our archival collections onto a digital database, and mentoring emerging archivists interested in preserving underrepresented histories!”
Hamdani’s gift to MiCA will support in training tomorrow’s archivists, enhancing outreach and archival awareness programming, and buildng up our collection digitization to better service a wide-ranging digital user base. To date, MiCA has acquired collections in Ontario and Newfoundland, with both collections joining our growing MiCA digital database. The MiCA team has its sights on developing operations across the country and we are seeding discussions for a national coverage, in far-flung Canadian regions.
We are grateful to Hamdani for making this work possible and eager to continue preserving Muslim histories, Muslim stories, and Muslim legacies. We invite generous donations that support MiCA in documenting and sharing the past, present and future of Muslim life across Canada.
Additionally, MiCA's collections offer an underrepresented window into the experiences of Muslims across Canada. For more information on how to support our collection development, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A recent trip to the archives with the family of MiCA donor, the late Dr. Ahmet Fuad Sahin, and other friends of the Muslims in Canada Archives.