I grew up in an extremely dynamic corner of the world, at a very exciting time, and that has led me to delve deep into conversations about urban spaces and the communities that inhabit them.
Mayfair, Johannesburg was a still classified as a “Whites only” neighbourhood when I was born there towards the end of Apartheid. By that stage, the neighbourhood had “greyed” significantly and there was a large community of Indian-descended Muslims, Christians and Hindus who had started making the neighbourhood their own. Towards the early 90’s, Mayfair became home to more recent migrants from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and from the mid-90’s refugees from Somalia and Eritrea too.
While growing up in this mixed-income, racially segregated neighbourhood, Apartheid ended and I was afforded the opportunity to attend schools in the wealthier Northern suburbs of the city where I was a religious and racialised minority. The spaces I occupied growing up were almost completely unrecognisable from one another but exposed me to an incredible variety of worldviews and perspectives.
Fast forward years of study and travel and I am now based in Vancouver with a strong interest in how different communities come together and create the spaces they inhabit. I have the completed a fellowship in Public Policy, the coursework for a masters degree in Development Planning, a degree in Political Science and Philosophy, years of teaching in the Middle East, North America and South Africa and I am about to undertake further studies in Dialogue and Civic Engagement.
Join me as I explore ideas of community, diversity, place- and space-making.