October 17, 2019
Join an informal discussion about immigration and the refugee reality, with hosts Shalla Shaharyar, Ken Feser and Elizabeth Thomson. Come to listen and learn, or question and engage, whatever your comfort level may be. Visit Refuge Canada before In Conversation. Doors open at 6 PM. Gallery and event admission is free.
Shalla Shaharyar immigrated to Canada in 2002 from Pakistan. She is a graduate of Royal Roads University and holds an MA in Intercultural Communications and International Relations and is currently employed at Medicine Hat College where she coordinates the English as a Second Language program.
She has extensive experience working with various non-governmental agencies promoting multiculturalism and improving race relations, a cause close to her heart. Shalla recognizes the importance of civil engagement and therefore is actively involved in organizing events in the community that foster cultural awareness, respect and understanding. She loves her new home but refuses to acculturate to the freezing temperatures!
Elizabeth Thomson is a community connections coordinator at Saamis Immigration Services Association in Medicine Hat. Together with her coworker Aidé, they make up what she likes to call the “fun department”. She is one of the newest staff members at Saamis, joining the team in August 2018. Born and raised in Medicine Hat, she holds a Bachelor of Arts from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, NB, with majors in human rights and gender and women’s studies, and minors in anthropology and sociology. After marrying a British soldier, she moved to Bangor, Wales, where she attended law school, earning an LLB and an LLM in international human rights and international criminal law. Her academic work focuses on law of armed conflict, international human rights, public international law, feminism, and children’s rights. In 2018, she presented her paper on referendums and international legal personality at the inaugural conference of the Eastern Europe Chapter of the International Society of Public Law at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary. At the end of November this year, Elizabeth will be travelling back to the UK to present her masters dissertation, which focuses on women members of Islamic State, to the International Conference of Gender Studies hosted at Cambridge University. Elizabeth is also a bartender, is undergoing the national legal accreditation process to become a lawyer in Canada, is coauthoring an academic paper on human rights and policing with an RCMP officer, and you might see her in the news from time to time.