About the Author

Maria (“Maa-ria”) Iqbal is a Master of Journalism candidate at Ryerson University. She completed this project for her Major Research Project in 2018.

Maria’s first attempt at journalism was in grade 7 when she wrote a letter to the editor of her local newspaper, then the London Free Press. Since then, she’s completed an Honours B.A. in English and history from University of Toronto Mississauga, where she worked as the editor of the student newspaper, The Medium.

While most of her career has been focused on print, Maria developed an interest in experimenting with digital tools after taking a digital journalism course in her first year of the graduate journalism program at Ryerson. She brought this interest with her to the Ryerson Review of Journalism, where she served as editor in 2017/18. In addition to her work on the masthead, Maria produced multimedia content for her digital stories on the Eye on Diversity and Indigenous Issues beats.

She currently works as a freelance writer and fact-checker at Toronto Life.

When Maria’s not doing journalism, she can be found at her local mosque. She’s also written for internal magazines run by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, including An-Nisaa’ magazine. She’s particularly passionate about religion, race, gender and ethics.

In her spare time, Maria spends her time napping on the GO train, catching up on old episodes of The Office and occasionally correcting people’s pronunciation of her name.

Maria would love to hear from you. Follow her on Twitter or send her an email using the contact form below.

Note from the Author: I would like to extend my special thanks to my supervisor, Joyce Smith, for her support and guidance on this project. Much appreciation also goes to Lindsay Hanna for her technical expertise. I’m also grateful to my parents, particularly my mother, for pointing out every time she read something interesting that related to this story, and more importantly, for showing me how to be a true feminist. With thanks also to Sobia Iqbal and Aansa Mirza for their feedback and editing support.