A Brief History
Jeewan Chanicka accepted Islam at the age of 11. His journey to Islam
and continual learning has enabled him to understand its beauty and
compassion for all peoples regardless of differences. He has been
married for over 11 years, has a true companion in his wife Sharon, and
has been blessed with two wonderful sons.
Jeewan was born in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Calgary,
Alberta and went on from there to live with his family in the beautiful
Caribbean island of Trinidad. From there he journeyed on to the
"meeting place" of our global village - Toronto, Canada where he met
his wife and went on to make Toronto his home. While living there, he
worked in several areas including with the youth, in education, and
He graduated with his BA with honours in Individualized Studies at York
University with a focus on conflict resolution, mediation and
culturally appropriate forms of mediation and completed his BEd at the
University of Toronto. He completed his Masters Degree in Education at
York University. Jeewan
also spent approximately one year studying primarily Arabic at the al
Diwan institute in Cairo, Egypt. His focus has been working with
at-risk youth both in and out of the school system. He has done much
work with both youth and adults, especially around parenting,
teenage/youth issues and bridging the gap between generations. Jeewan
has had the benefit and opportunity to study and learn from numerous
teachers including: Shk. Ahmad Kutty, Shk. Abdallah Idris Ali, Shk.
Abdullah Hakim Quick and Imam Siraj Wahaj.
Jeewan's Resume is available here.
Jeewan's passion lies in education because of the transformative nature
of knowledge and its ability to affect generations. When children are
empowered, they can understand the value of their agency and the
responsibility that comes with education. True education is inclusive
and allows people to value the differences in perspectives and beliefs
that exist in the world. Over the years, Jeewan has been privileged to
work and learn from great mentors in the fields of literacy, equity,
parent engagement and risk and resiliency among other areas. Just as he
benefited from those who taught him, Jeewan continues to share his
expertise in these areas with others. He has conducted workshops in
literacy, equity, character education, parent engagement, risk,
resiliency, student and professional portfolios, curriculum integration
and modeled instructional intelligence processes. Jeewan is also a
TRIBES trainer and has used this process of learning in his classrooms
through all his years of teaching. He believes that a teacher is both a
mu'allim - giver of knowledge and a murrabi- mentor and that character
moulds knowledge and makes its bearer responsible to become a change
agent. He has worked with the United Nations University of Peace to
develop a curriculum framework that embeds peace education within the
Islamic context for North American and South Asian schools and learning
networks. In 2006, Jeewan was awarded an international award from the
Canadian Education Partnership based in Washington D.C.
Other Areas of Interest
While working as a teacher in the public school system, he lectured and
run workshops across North America on various issues of Islamic
relevance: youth, domestic violence, family, self-esteem,
conflict-resolution, and da`wah, among other issues. Jeewan has
counseled both youth and adults in areas dealing with employment,
housing, mental health, suicide, drugs, racism, physical and sexual
abuse, immigration and integration issues, marriage, and family
As a program counselor, Jeewan worked
with at-risk students in high school and middle school, to develop new
and healthy habits that would eventually lead them to academic success.
His other passions include writing, art, poetry, public-speaking,
enjoying the beauty of Allah's creation in nature, traveling, climbing,
swimming and hanging out with his friends. His CD "The Prophet's Song"
is scheduled for release in Ramadan 2007 and he is currently working on
a manuscript for a children's story among other creative ideas.
He is the member of the Chapter Youth Department of Muslim Association
of Canada – Toronto, a member of the Executive Committee of Canadian
Muslim Civil Liberties Association and works actively with numerous
other associations and groups.
In the meantime, he continues to be involved with MAC Youth Give in Toronto http://toronto.macyouth.ca and answering questions and writing for www.islamonline.net.