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Farzana Hassan, also known as Farzana Hassan-Shahid is a well known writer and commentator on Islam and Muslim issues. Though based in Canada, her opinions, particularly on women's rights in Islam and Islamic terrorism are sought worldwide.
She has been actively involved in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue for the past nine years. For her efforts in promoting interfaith harmony, the National Christian/Muslim Liason Committee of Canada gave her their annual service award in 2004.
As a prominent member of the South Asian-Canadian community, she has headed a number of Canadian organizations including the progressive Muslim Canadian Congress. She also led a group of South Asian literati called Family of the Heart. Her literary achievements include a third place poetry award for her poem entitled "The Loner". The award was conferred by Bakers Books in Dartmouth, Massachusetts in 2000.
Farzana is also a public speaker. She has presented papers at several national and international conferences. In January 2009, she represented Canada as part of a three member delegation to Syria to promote citizen diplomacy and peace-building among Jews, Christians and Muslims in that country. She also addressed a conference held at Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. on women's rights in Islam in July, 2009. As a member of delegations to various UN workshops on women’s rights, she most recently presented a paper on female education in Pakistan in March, 2010. Farzana is very well known to the media. Her international media appearances include participation as a speaker at the world famous Doha Debates. Media appearances also include interviews with BBC World Service, Al Jazeera, The Voice of America, Le Monde, “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” and the CBC.
In addition to her media appearances, she is well-published both in Canada and the United States. Her several articles and opinion pieces have appeared in the Montreal Gazette, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald and the Huffington Post. Farzana is also a regular contributor to Thara-E magazine, the largest English publication on women's issues in Syria. She has previously authored two books on religion. Her most recent publication entitled Prophecy and the Fundamentalist Quest (McFarland & Co, 2008), is a comparative study of Christian and Muslim apocalyptic religion.