I converted to Islam in October 1979, Al-Hamdulillah (All Praise be to Allah). Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in the United States, I obtained a bachelor of arts degree in psychology, a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice and a bachelor of arts degree in education, the first two from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the last at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.
Three important jobs I have had are: secretary for the cultural and press attache at a Muslim embassy in Washington, D.C.; typesetter and writer for Crescent International newsmagazine in Markham, Ontario (now in Gormley, Ontario); and elementary school teacher, especially in special education, at the Muslim Community School in Washington, D.C. and Potomac, Maryland, As-Sadiq Islamic School in Thornhill, Ontario, and in the public sector in Oak Ridges, Maple and Richmond Hill, Ontario. I retired from 25 years of teaching at the end of June 2015.
I am the mother of five children, grandmother of two and step-grandmother of two. I am married to Ali Muhammad Shaheed, a Muslim convert from Trinidad and Tobago, and we live in Ontario.