Wareesha Nadeem

A woman in a hijab sits on a prayer mat in a women's prayer space.
Photo by Maria Iqbal

Many universities in Ontario have dedicated prayer spaces for students to use for worship while on campus. Some universities have separate rooms for men and women. Wareesha Nadeem is a frequent visitor to the women’s prayer space at Ryerson University. For her, the space is like a home away from home.

I come into this prayer space everyday. Normally, I come to pray but last semester, there was time between my classes when I came here to study.

This is the most comfortable space for me on campus. If I think about needing to go anywhere, I come here. Like at lunch breaks, I’ve been coming here with my friend.

I wouldn’t pray in any other spot on campus. I see other people pray in the library and I’ve thought about it, but I just haven’t felt comfortable. It’s just that people will see and I don’t know what they’re going to think. I guess I’m just conscious about people looking at you and wondering what you’re doing, especially if they don’t know.

If there was no barrier here separating this room from the men’s prayer room, it’d be different. I don’t think I’d be as comfortable. Like the fact that it’s a closed space and it’s only for women, it’s… I can’t explain it. I don’t think I would come here as often if there wasn’t a barrier here.

Wareesha Nadeem
Nutrition & Food student at Ryerson University
From Markham

This interview was edited for length and clarity.