Farzana Hassan, also known as Farzana Hassan-Shahid is a well known
writer and commentator on Islam and Muslim issues. Though based in
Canada, her opinions, particularly on women's rights in Islam and
Islamic terrorism are sought worldwide.
Farzana received her
early education at Sacred Heart, a missionary Catholic
school in Lahore, Pakistan. She went on to complete her Bachelors
degree from the Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore. She also
received part of her schooling at Mt. St. Mary's Academy, Fall
River, United States when her family
moved to North Dartmouth, Massachusetts in 1972.
Farzana went on
to complete her Master's in Political Science as valedictorian among
eight hundred students at the University of the Punjab, Lahore.
Subsequently, she completed her MBA from the University of
Massachusetts. She recently completed her doctorate in Education
from the University of Phoenix.
She has been actively
involved in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue for the past nine
years. For her efforts in promoting interfaith harmony, the National
Christian/Muslim Liason Committee of Canada gave her their annual
service award in 2004.
As a prominent member
of the South Asian-Canadian community, she has headed a number of
Canadian organizations including the progressive
Congress. She also led a group of South Asian literati called
of the Heart.
achievements include a third place poetry award for her poem
entitled "The Loner". The award was conferred by Bakers Books in
Dartmouth, Massachusetts in 2000.
Farzana is also
a public speaker. She has presented papers at several national
and international conferences. In January 2009, she represented
Canada as part of a three member delegation to Syria to promote
citizen diplomacy and peace-building among Jews, Christians and
Muslims in that country. She also addressed a conference held at
Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. on women's rights in Islam in July,
2009. As a member of delegations to various UN workshops on women’s
rights, she most recently presented a paper on female education in
Pakistan in March, 2010.
Farzana is very well
known to the media. Her international media appearances include
participation as a speaker at the world famous Doha Debates. Media
appearances also include interviews with BBC World Service, Al Jazeera, The Voice of America,
Le Monde, “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” and the CBC.
In addition to her
media appearances, she is well-published both in Canada and the
United States. Her several articles and opinion pieces have appeared
in the Montreal Gazette, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Calgary
Herald and the Huffington Post. Farzana is also a regular
contributor to Thara-E magazine, the largest English publication on
women's issues in Syria. She has previously authored two books on
religion. Her most recent publication entitled Prophecy and the
Fundamentalist Quest (McFarland & Co, 2008), is a comparative
study of Christian and Muslim apocalyptic religion.