Meet our 2017 Fellows

Project Team motto - Teamwork makes the dream work

The Mujtama Fellowship is a program for young and enthusiastic community organizers and researchers, looking to contribute to the CAI mission of articulating the perspective and potential of Canadian Arabs and advancing their contributions to society. 



Hala Eltom
Research Fellow - Team Lead

Hala first moved to Toronto, Canada at the age of nine.  She studied Communication and Peace Studies at McMaster University, and moved on to obtain her Master’s degree in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies at the UN mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. As a communication professional, she is fascinated by the uses of social media during the Arab Spring uprisings which led her to pursue PhD research at the University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies.  When she is not writing or glued to her laptop, Hala enjoys spending her time traveling and learning Spanish. 



Mary Kozak
Research Fellow - Team Lead

As a medical student, Mari Kozak developed an interest in mental health and translational research.  After completing her MD, Dr Kozak started working on her Canadian licensing exams and did some observerships in the psychiatry department at Canadian Mental Health Association and Mount Sinai Hospital. Being a research volunteer at CAMH exposed her to clinical research and more specifically, health services and outcomes research in psychiatry.  As a research fellow with Mujtama, her interests center on mental health diseases and related topics. She is interested in studying the effects of language barriers for immigrants and refugees and their ability to cope and integrate successfully.  Her focus in particular is to understand the difficulties that refugees face while learning English and to identify main targets that can help them effectively integrate with the Canadian society and participate in the work field as productive members.



Rasha Mehyar
Community Engagement Fellow

Rasha is a Professional Development Consultant with 20 years experience in Project Management. She has extensive knowledge in project monitoring, evaluation and identifying project risks from an early stage. Having graduated in 1998 from the American University in Cairo with a BA in Middle East Studies and an MA in Professional Development & Public Policy, she started a career in media as the Business Editor at Middle East Times in Cairo. Later her love for working in development landed her a position with the British Embassy in Cairo as their Political Projects Officer where her focus was on Human Rights, capacity building for women and youth education. 

Rasha's passion was always working with refugees ever since she had a three year working experience with assessing refugees in UNHCR Cairo. Accordingly since she moved to Canada Rasha has been a volunteer translator with refugees. She has worked with the clothing drive, newcomers kitchen, has blogged about refugees in Canada, and has appeared in The Guardian documentary about Syrian Newcomers in Toronto. 


Mohammad Nasser Hajali
Community Engagement Fellow

As a Syrian newcomer in Canada, Mohammad grew up in Daraa city, south of Syria and recently moved to Toronto after living 4 years in Cairo, Egypt. Mohammad graduated from Cairo University with a bachelor degree in English Literature, and is currently studying Political Economy of International Development at University of Toronto, in preparation for his Masters Degree in the same field. He is interested in different issues related to Economic and Political Development, and very passionate about making a difference within his community and articulating their needs and contributions. He enjoys spending time with friends, cooking, reading literature, music, tennis, gym, and many more. His absolute moto in life is "the only limits we have are the limits we believe"



Ebti Nabag
Communications and Digital Storytelling Fellow

A graduate of Ryerson University’s MFA program Documentary Media, Ebti is a visual artist who works with photography, video, and installation. Her work is motivated by stories from the average human. Nabag’s previous exhibits include Movement in Tradition: Tobe (2016), Vitiligo at the AGO (2015), Intersections (2014) featured at the Contact Photography Festival, and I Am Not My Hair (2012).  She hopes her documentations serve as bridges between people and communities. Ebti is also a digital and analogue photography instructor.

This program was possible through programs funded by:

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This Fellowship project is in partnership with the Arab Community Centre in Toronto: