We want to provide the Muslim youth of Ottawa with mentorship opportunities and high-quality events that cater to their religious needs. By having a team comprised of only youth members we believe that we not only have a better understanding of what we want as youth, but also how to get there first hand.
Building Bridges Youth is the daughter branch of Building Bridges, an organization founded in 2013, by Hanna Dwidar, Zahira Elsayed, and Omnia Aleraqy. Over time the organization grew from their 3 families to almost 25 families to date. Building Bridges was founded on the concept and goal of building connections between individuals - whether that be familial, communal or even for business purposes the goal was to witness others expand their connections and grow! It continues to accomplishes this goal by holding monthly gatherings for the members of its organization. Each gathering has committees in charge of different aspects of it, including programming, catering and activities. Building Bridges activities are focused on building character and leadership skills among the youth of its organization. Additionally, Building Bridges is known for volunteering at multiple events as well as hosting their famous Family Bazaar every year — making the one in 2019 its 4th Annual Family Bazaar! Through these events, Building Bridges has allowed: familial connections to be made through the monthly gatherings; communal connections to be made through getting involved and volunteering at events in the community; and finally, business connections to be formed through its annual Family Bazaar.
As we, the youth of Building Bridges, grew older we realized that we had the potential to apply our accumulated skills, within the 6 years of this organization’s running, to something that we thought could benefit the youth of the community. With this in mind, Nour Elmestekawy and Moustafa Aboulmagd, Building Bridges members since its founding, decided to begin Building Bridges Youth in 2019. Today, our entire team is comprised of community members between the ages of 14-25.
Our core belief and what drives this organization forward is a simple phrase: حب الله يجمعنا. This statement is our slogan and it essentially means “The love we have for our lord, Allah, unites us”.