We have an incredible line up of speakers and performers to round out your experience at Halal Food Fest TO!
Aman Ali is an award winning storyteller in New York City and one of the most engaging social media personalities in the Muslim community today. His passionate and animated tales he regularly posts to Facebook continue to go viral by the thousands daily. He's made appearances on dozens of media outlets such as the New York Times, BuzzFeed, CNN, NBC News, HBO, BBC, and NPR to talk about the shenanigans of being an awkward brown kid from Ohio. He first shot to fame for being the co-creator of the social media phenomenon 30 Mosques in 30 Days, a 25,000 mile road trip he took to all 50 states in the U.S. with the mission of telling groundbreaking and profound stories about Muslims in America.
Amanda was born and raised in Dearborn Michigan, where she learned her love for cooking and baking from her mother and grandmother.
Amanda’s passion for food and sharing led her to compete on MasterChef; the worlds largest food competition. She was the first woman in hijab to appear on the American version of the show. Amanda earned a MasterChef apron and continued to shine in the competition, impressing Gordon Ramsay not only with her creativity in food, but her positive attitude and team work as well.
Amanda and Hussein began Dinner with Your Muslim Neighbour in January 2016, after Amanda experienced hate speech online and saw the rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric in the presidential campaign. She later partnered with Michael Hebb, founder of Death Over Dinner, to share Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbour with the world.
Amanda currently works as the Director of Social Services at Zaman International, a non-profit in South East Michigan, who serves women and children facing poverty. She will also be developing their culinary training kitchen, to give women a skill to enter the workforces.
Usama Syed better known by the stage name Siedd, is a Canadian Muslim singer-songwriter and producer. He was raised in Mississauga, Canada and is of Pakistani descent. His family moved to Canada when he was at the age of two. As a child, he had an interest in poetry and music. In 2008 his family had moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario where he began playing the guitar at the age of 14 and began to write and produce his own music. In July 2016, he began his own YouTube channel where he would post originals and renditions of other artist's songs which frequently involved rewritten lyrics with faith based themes. Siedd's music features acapella arrangements created using layered vocalizations and hand claps. His faith-based music videos have garnered over a million streams on YouTube.
Mustaqeem is an up and coming contemporary acapella Nasheed group. Brothers Jibreel and Bilal write and produce all their original songs. All the sounds heard in the musical backtrack of their songs are made by voice, mouth and hands. Find their newly produced EP on Spotify, ITunes, AppleMusic and YouTube. Also you can find their first original CD (which includes their brother Yaseen) on iTunes. Watch them on their YouTube channel MustaqeemOfficial and follow them on their Facebook page- Mustaqeem, Instagram- @mustaqeemofficial and Snapchat- Realmustaqeem.
Dubbed the “voice of a generation,” Boonaa Mohammed is a critically acclaimed award winning writer and performer with accolades including a playwright residency at Theatre Passe Muraille, a short story published in a Penguin Canada anthology called “Piece by Piece” and various slam poetry titles credits including winner of the 2007 CBC Poetry Face-Off “Best New Artist” award.
His popular Youtube videos have received Millions of views to date, and as an Artist he has toured and traveled across the world, speaking alongside some of the most influential scholars and entertainers of our time. He frequently conducts writing workshops and seminars, sharing his experience and expertise in Spoken Word story-telling with mainly youth from all walks of life.
Jeremy McLellan is an internationally touring standup comedian based in Charleston, SC, where he won the 2015 and 2016 Charleston Standup Comedy Competition. In addition to comedy clubs, charity fundraisers, civil rights rallies, corporate events, and weddings, he has also performed at CAIR, ICNA, and MSAs all across the country.
Khaled Siddiq is one of the most recognised nasheed artists across the globe. A Youtuber, singer-songwriter and rapper, he combines an array of skills into his portfolio making him one of the most diverse and talented Muslims today. A proud Muslim of Jamaican, English and Irish heritage, he believes that providing others with ethical entertainment and dispelling stereotypes about his faith has always been his calling.
Yvonne Maffei, MA
Yvonne Maffei, MA is a graduate of Spanish & International Studies from Ohio University (Athens, Ohio) where she also spent time studying abroad in both Mexico and Spain during her time as a student. She was raised in Northeast Ohio around her Sicilian and Puerto Rican family members who taught her to appreciate all cultures and cuisine. Over time and much international and domestic travel, Yvonne developed a real passion for global cuisine, cooking and writing about her experiences and set out to make a career of it. After years of teaching language arts, she moved her teaching platform from the classroom to the internet by starting her website, MyHalalKitchen.com, which reaches a global audience of over 1.2 million just on Facebook alone. She has written three books: Clean Your Kitchen Green (2010), Summer Ramadan Cooking (2013) and My Halal Kitchen: Global Recipes, Cooking Tips, Lifestyle Inspiration (2016).