Spotlight Archives

Q1 2020 Spotlight


Having been the FAPA Chair for 2019, Malik Ali not only oversaw all of the events and operations of FAPA, but he also fostered its growth due to his hard work and dedication. Malik will remain on the Board this year as Past Chairperson in order to guide the incoming Board Members with his insights. Looking back at his role on the Board, we asked Malik to answer a few questions:

What were your three favourite events hosted by FAPA during your year as chair?

During the last two years, the FAPA board remained active and hosted several events around the three core themes to provide platform and resources for Enhancing Skills, Knowledge Sharing, and Network Growth. I got several opportunities to work with fantastic people to organize various events to further the cause of the Alliance. My favourite was the Speed Networking Event at Down Town Jamat Khana in 2018, which was organized to kickstart the FAPA Pilot Mentorship Program. It was my first event since joining the board and was therefore both excited and nervous. We didn’t have high expectations but the response from our members was overwhelming. We had over 80 mentors and mentees attended the event. I still don’t know how we fit so many people in a small foyer. There was no place to move people around. We had to force people to leave the premise by 11 pm before the parking permit expired for the day. The event gave us a lot of confidence for bigger events to follow. The other two impactful events were Annual Networking Night at KPMG and UCanPivot at DMZ Sandbox in 2019.

What is one piece of advice you have for the incoming board members?

We got some talented young members on the board and my first interaction with them suggests that they will be doing much more to build further on the foundation laid by the previous board. So, I am looking forward to working with the new members on the board in my capacity as an ex-official member. As someone said, the most precious gift you can give someone is your time and attention. When you give your time, you are giving a portion of your life. I am grateful to my mentors and seniors who gave me their time whenever I asked with no expectations in return. I try to do the same when someone asks for my time. No Excuses.

Do you have any message for the FAPA general members?

The current pandemic has shaken our confidence in the future and has sent us back by a few years. The value of our investments has plummeted and, in some cases, the lock-down has caused the loss of livelihood. As members of the largest Ismaili Alliance in Canada, we need to be resilient and focused to use our time wisely to improve our skills, share knowledge and insights and expand our network through virtual platforms. Reach out to members who need our help to prepare them for life after the crisis. We strongly need to connect with our members and build for a common purpose. Social distancing may force us to rethink our strategies to deliver future programs virtually. We need to look forward and inshallah under the guidance of Hazir Imam and strong jamati institutions we will emerge stronger.