2017 Lifetime Achievement Awards 2017-09-13T22:23:57+00:00

MAX Gala 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award

The MAX Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes and celebrates individuals who embody commitment to excellence in professional achievement, and positive and productive contributions to the Muslim community and Canada at large.

The award recognizes and celebrates three individuals every year for their outstanding achievement, creativity and leadership in a professional domain and/or through deeply impactful contributions to their community, consistently and passionately over the course of their lifetime.

All nominees embody the vision and mission of MAX, i.e.:
Mission Statement: Recognize, reward, celebrate & motivate high achievement, positive and productive contributions to society by Muslims in Canada.
Vision: Elevate the brand of Muslims in Canada.

This years nominees represent a diverse cross section of ethnicities and professions, including doctors, lawyers, accountants, imams, scholars, educators, social justice and human rights activists and humanitarians. All are united by their decades worth of service towards the cause of improving the lives of others and by their commitment to excellence.

MAX is honoured to introduce the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award winners for 2017:

Shaikh Abdullah Sabree
Dr. Fuad Sahin
Wahida Chishti Valiante 

Dr. Fuad Sahin

“My greatest concern was always social justice…I have dignity as long as everybody in the world has dignity.” – Dr. Fuad Sahin

A recipient of The Order of Ontario, Turkish-born medical doctor, scholar and resident of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Dr. Fuad Sahin is a living Canadian-Muslim legend who has worked all his life (now in his mid 90’s), to build a Muslim community and unite people for domestic and international humanitarian causes.

Dr. Sahin arrived in Canada in 1958, with his wife and three children. From opening his Niagara-on-the-Lake home to over a hundred Muslims when there was no mosque for Eid prayers in the Niagara region, to co-founding one of Canada’s leading charities that has positively impacted millions of lives over the years, Dr. Sahin’s endless list of humanitarian contributions are truly inspirational.

He has been the motivational force, the founder, or co-founder of a significant number of organizations, which were created to promote greater understanding, awareness, and education about humanitarianism, peace, and the importance of upholding the dignity of all human beings, including the Islamic Society of Niagara Peninsula, the Canadian Turkish Muslim Association, Islamic Foundation Inc., Toronto, Council of Muslim Communities of Canada (CMCC) and IDRF (International Development and Relief Foundation).

Over its 25-year history, one of the organizations that he co-founded- IDRF, has made an immense contribution to major humanitarian causes, both domestic and international, having implemented development and relief projects in over 27 countries, setting up schools, creating jobs, digging wells and providing basic food, medicine and healthcare to the needy. Many of the programs are supported by the Canadian government.

As the imam of the Islamic Society Niagara Peninsula, Dr. Sahin called for more active participation of Muslims in mainstream Canadian society. He has been unflagging in his efforts to promote inter-faith understanding of world religion through active participation in such groups as: Christian-Jewish-Muslim Dialogue and the Christian Muslim Liaison Committee. Furthermore, Dr. Sahin has represented Canada at a number of international conferences on World Peace and World Religions and continues to be a source of insight and wisdom for all that know him.

Wahida Chishti Valiante

“Her wise and persistent leadership on behalf of dignity and decency for people of all faiths has lifted the spirits and hopes of untold thousands of Canadians and people beyond. These endeavors are especially effective on behalf of the Muslims who struggle under unwarranted but often fierce passions against Islam. We need more Wahidas.” – Former U.S. Congressman Paul Findley

 Born in Mirpur, Azad Kashmir, Wahida Chishti Valiante arrived in Canada in 1961. A leader among North American Muslim women in social justice advocacy, human rights, inter-faith relations, research on community health, Islamic culture and roles of political advocacy, Wahida is also an author on South Asian family, women, domestic violence and social work interventions.

She is a pioneer in the field of developing therapeutic interventions for treating family conflict and inter-generational issues from an Islamic concept, integrating both the contemporary and Muslim traditions in psychotherapy. She holds a BA (psychology), BSW (Hon) from York University, and MSW from the University of Toronto as well as a diploma in family mediation, with training in Brief Solution Focused Therapy; Domestic Violence and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Trauma, Loss and Grief.

Over the years she has applied her expertise to working with refugees from war torn countries, especially women and children, victims of rape, trauma, and psychological violence. Through writing, administration, and personal contact, Wahida has positively influenced thousands of Canada’s estimated 800,000 to 1,000,000 Muslims. Her recently published book “A Mosaic of Thoughts” is the first anthology of her writings beyond the narrow spectrum of religion and families. Furthermore, she is also a member of the National Advisory Board Canadian Association of Muslims with Disabilities

Wahida Valiante has been a regular television panelist, made numerous national and international presentations and training sessions to academic and professional institutions, on the development of human personality and the role of religion and family, contemporary theories of family therapy and the development of an alternative model of treatment based on the Qur’anic concept of human psyche.

Passionate about promoting inter-faith dialogue, Wahida Valiante has been instrumental in connecting Muslims and non-Muslims, particularly in her position as National Chair of Islamic History Month Canada, between 2007 and 2011. A recipient of numerous awards throughout her distinguished career, Ms. Valiante was selected for four years in a row for inclusion in the prestigious publication “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World,” edited by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin, Islamic Studies scholars at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Shaikh Abdullah Sabree

“Know the nature of self, in order to defend self.” – Shaikh Abdullah Sabree

Shaikh Abdullah Sabree moved to Canada from the UK in 1970. He is a 7th Dan black belt in ITF Taekwondo, a decorated fighter, previous member of the Canadian national team and has taught and motivated thousands of children who have grown up to be positive and productive members of their communities.

Founder and Head Instructor of UMMA Martial Arts, the first Muslim martial arts academy in Canada, Shaikh Sabree has been running the academy for the last 35 years. UMMA Martial Arts’ specialty lays in its unique use of the Holy Quran and Sunnah, and the examples they provide to help all who train, to build, to achieve, succeed and grow, both as individuals and as members of a greater society, whether young or old. He started the program initially to motivate and guide local at-risk teenagers towards excellence in athletics and academics, but over the years the program has expanded and now operates out of several mosques across the GTA, offering programs for children, women and men.

Shaikh Sabree’s UMMA Academy gives students a clear and easily definable structure as well as a set of requirements for training based on Islamic principles of character development, cooperative learning and brotherhood/ sisterhood. As an auxiliary system of education, UMMA Martial Arts focuses on: Gross motor functions, dynamic movement, the integration of the left and right side of the brain, conflict resolution and problem solving, creative thinking, cooperative learning (mentoring), leadership and much more.

Shaikh Sabree is also on the board of Canadian Imams Against Domestic Violence and the Peel Police Service Board. He is a motivational speaker and has been the guest imam at several mosques. Throughout his life he has been mentoring at-risk youth, students and teachers and continues to do so despite recent setbacks related to his health. Also, his network of past and present students from UMMA continue to serve as role models for youth across the GTA.

Aside from all his work with the academy, Shaikh Sabree also runs a successful business. He has worked for KEM Management in the past, started Glaser Management and finally launched Boiler Treatment International in 2005 which operates and serves communities and businesses across Ontario, employing many people.