Toronto Muslim Arts Festival

Toronto Muslim Arts Festival

This festival showcased many talented local Muslim artists and promoted their work to the public. Although it may be taboo to celebrate music or art in many Muslim cultures, this festival focused on talented Muslim artists and poets that represented themselves. They showcased that each Muslim looks different and expresses their mindset in many ways. Muslims are often seen as a community that only focuses on the technical studies such as engineering, medicine, or law. However, these wonderful artists below showcase that there is no shortage of artistic talent in Toronto from the Muslim community. Attending this festival as an artist myself was a surreal experience. I felt right at home. I took this wonderful opportunity to absorb all the talent around me and showcase it in the art form that I know best. Below are the profiles of the talented artists that performed at the festival. Take an opportunity to check out their profiles and support local art. 

Wali Shah

Wali Shah is a motivational speaker and spoken word artist. His poetry highlights emotions, thoughts, and concepts that are often ignored. He maintained amazing stage presence while delivering his poetry pieces.  Without flaw he narrated his childhood and showcased the impact his parents had on him. The lessons he learned are ones we all need to learn from. Respond with love not hate, and show compassion & understanding with people. 

Syed Raza

Syed Raza is a comedian and podcast host. He has an immense amount of comfort and confidence on stage. As an opening act he set the perfect tone for the rest of the event. His jokes hit right on the mark. The comedic touch on South Asian culture really struck a cord. It’s incredible to see the unique ways one can express their thoughts. Syed did it perfectly by making everyone laugh. 


Raz is a rockstar. His lyrical ability and performance on stage is tremendous. The crowd was singing along and no one could look away. He took us to a whole new level by showing his diverse range and talent. The partnership with Taabu on the drums made for an amazing night of performances. He displayed old, new, and cover music. It’s really inspiring to see the talents of such an amazing artist from my own community,

Timaj Garad

Timaj’s hard-hitting poetry packs a lyrical punch. Her thoughts and ideas are expressed with eloquent phrasing. Her performance has everyone focused on the powerful statements she made. Timaj connected very well with the crowd as she talked about the gardens and galaxies. It was interesting to see her ability as she performed a complex piece with such grace.

Frishta Bastan

Frishta Bastan brought intense energy to the stage as she read some powerful script from her book Sher. Frishta talks about Afghan culture & lifestyle and its influence on the world. Understanding your roots is an essential part of establishing an identity. Artists must dig deep within themselves to find the confidence to speak. It all starts with knowing your roots and being accepting of them, no matter how tragic. Frishta’s poetry explores her heritage and it showcases the value of knowing what you stand for. 

View full photo gallery of the event.