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Silmy Abdullah

Author, Lawyer, Public Speaker

 

My Story

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I am an author and lawyer based in Toronto, Canada. I was born in Bangladesh, and lived in Saudi Arabia for twelve years before I immigrated to Canada with my family at the age of fourteen. The diversity of my experiences and my multiple identities as a South Asian Canadian Muslim woman contribute to the richness in my life, complete with fulfillment and challenges. As an author, I write primarily about this hyphenated existence, what it means to have multiple, intersecting identities, and to have a fluid sense of home. Serendipitously, my career as a lawyer has also become centred around serving racialized, immigrant communities, particularly women. 

As a litigation lawyer at a legal clinic, I worked on complex immigration cases and represented low income South Asian families, particularly women facing gender-based violence. I have also been involved in a host of important law reform and public legal education initiatives with the goal of improving access to justice, safety and equality for vulnerable women in Canada. After a number of years working on the ground as a litigation lawyer, having seen the barriers and broken systems that create further challenges for women to seek help, I have most recently decided to launch my own consulting business. I am now working with organizations on various anti-racism, access to justice and gender-based violence issues with the goal of changing systems and structures.