Gala Committee


Shatha Abuelaish is a founding member of the Daughters for Life Foundation. She is a student at the University of Toronto, majoring in Computer Engineering with a minor in Business. She is specializing in computer software and completed a summer internship at the GGY AXIS Company. She is a director of the Arab Students Association at the University of Toronto, which organizes educational and cultural events on campus.

Shatha graduated with honours, in the top ten of her class, from Shadia Abu Ghazala High School in Gaza, the winner of many competitions in math, science and English. She has a keen interest in graphic design and won a competition for best design representing the 2006 siege of Gaza. Shatha, with her sister Dalal, was a media spokesperson for the Daughters for Life Inaugural Gala in 2012.

Stephanie Stephanie has two decades of experience in strategic communications working on behalf of some of Canada’s leading organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors – on some of the leading issues of the day.

A seasoned strategist, writer and project manager, with a skill set that cuts across multiple disciplines, including corporate communications, public affairs, marketing, campaigns and market research.

A successful track record of helping organizations create compelling, on-target communications that advance business goals, build brand and profile, and motivate audiences toward greater support and engagement.

Adam Edris has spent his career within the alternative investment space, working in research capacities at an independent boutique, a credit hedge fund and most recently at a consultant advising a variety of institutional investors including endowments, foundations, pensions, and sovereign wealth funds. His not-for-profit experience includes work with the PACT Urban Peace Program, as well as serving as Past President of the Rotaract Club of Mississauga. He began his career working as an intern at the Business News Network. Adam obtained his BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Toronto and holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations.

Iman Yossef, is a dedicated hardworking Arab-Canadian woman, community activist, entrepreneur, business owner and manager of Amour Fragrances & beauty boutique and Best Canadian Liquidation (BCL).

She is known as business woman and a humanitarian activist, national and international volunteer regularly manages sponsorships and raise funds to support international causes. She participates in humanitarian and voluntary community work and fully engaged and supports many charity organizations.

She is fluent in Arabic, English and Sign language, and has applied these skills to pursue other opportunities in business. In 2007, Iman participated in hosting a health and beauty segment on My Second Home, a weekly television program through Rogers T.V. The purpose of this show was to help newcomers to Canada by providing them with information to assist in the transition from the Middle East to Canada. Through this opportunity, her business gained greater exposure locally and nationally.

Dalal Abuelaish is a founding member of the Daughters for Life Foundation. She studied architecture for two years at the Islamic University of Gaza after graduating with honors from high school in Gaza. She is now a student at the University of Toronto, majoring in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Business. She is specializing in communication systems and recently completed a summer internship as a software control analyst. In her first year she was part of a team whose design was one of six selected for its creativity out of approximately 850 designs.

Dalal is an active member of the Arab Student Association at the University of Toronto which sponsors public awareness programs on the Middle East. As a teenager she attended a peace camp in New Mexico, USA, which sparked a lifelong interest in dialogue across cultural and religious traditions. Dalal and her sister, Shatha, were media spokespersons for the Daughters for Life Inaugural Gala in 2012.

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish is the Founder and President of The Daughters for Life Foundation. A Palestinian physician, he is now one of the most prominent international speakers on peace and development and has been called the “Martin Luther King of the Middle East.” In two separate addresses to the nation, President Barak Obama has held up his work as an example of the promise of reconciliation in the Middle East.

Dr. Abuelaish’s internationally acclaimed book, I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey, was inspired by the loss of three of his daughters – Bessan, Mayar, and Aya – to Israeli shelling in 2009. The book has been translated into 16 languages and is a testament to his deeply held belief as a devout Muslim that non-violence is the only path to lasting peace.

Dr. Abuelaish is an Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He has received many awards for his promotion of human rights and peace, including the Order of Ontario, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Calgary Peace Prize, and the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award of Canada. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Manitoba, Queens University, and the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Abuelaish is a nominee for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for the third consecutive year.

Bogumila ‘Bogie’ Lapinski Anaya has been working in international education for more than 15 years, teaching, recruiting and promoting Canada to students from around the globe. In 2009, Bogie launched the first Canadian office of ICEF along with the first ICEF Canada conference to help position Canada as a premier study destination. With her degree in journalism and additional certification in TESL, adult education and international business and trade, Bogie recently added an MA in World Peace to her formal education. She is currently transferring her thesis research into a book called ‘The Phenomenon of Hope: How Your Thoughts Today Create a Path for Tomorrow’. The rest of the time she works as an independent consultant, most recently on a national initiative to support the mental wellness of international students on campuses across Canada.

Geraldine Rendon

As a woman who came to Canada as an international student, and decided to make Canada my home, I understand the challenges of coming to a new country, learning a new language in a place where you are alone and have no family. However, dreaming about a better life was what motivated me. I continued to work in International Education as a recruiter from Latin America and Brazil, because I believed in sharing my experience and hope with all the young people who were motivated to take the steps I did. I have seen my professional and personal growth on me and on my recruited students as well.

I am involved with Daughters for life because I believe in it. Daughters for Life is giving opportunities to young women, who live in financial hardship, but have both the desire and the scholastic skills. For them, these chances exist just in their dreams. Namely, to study, and make something out of their lives and change their worlds. Out of this, I see the potential for women leaders. With future women leaders, the world can see real change!