Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s 6th Woman of Inspiration 2017-2018 Presented by Syncrude Announced

November 2017

(Fort McMurray) Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude are proud to announce the 6th nominee for Women of Inspiration

Bushra Irfan

Ms. Irfan has lived in Fort McMurray since 2004 and during that time she has not only made the region her home of choice but has worked tirelessly to make it a better place for all . She has been described as ”Fort McMurray’s angel, and one who tries to remain hidden.”  She is the first to arrive and the last to leave. Bushra champions Fort McMurray every day through her behind the scenes work and her kindness, her generosity and desire to help everyone in need. She is the perfect volunteer, notes those who work with her.

Bushra Irfan is very involved in helping build understanding and appreciation for our differences. She is a strong supporter of the Markaz ul Islam, the Islamic centre of Fort McMurray. She leads the Sisters’ Committee for Markaz ul Islam which is a group of women and female youth volunteers. She willingly oversees volunteer coordination for many local events. She is a motivation for youth, particularly young girls, who flock to her for support and encouragement.


“Sister Bushra has been instrumental in mentoring new sister volunteers, inspiring their best work. She has initiated many social and educational programs including the latest drive for B.C. wildfires. She was the key person behind the large donations we collected for the B.C. wildfires” notes Muhammad Ali Al-Zabidi, President, Markaz ul Islam.

“I have personally requested her support for many programs and she has never said no. She has managed our annual conference volunteers for the past few years and has done a great job. She always comes up with great ideas to improve our volunteer work. Sister Bushra has a great personality and always speaks positively about other sisters regardless of their involvement with Markaz” states Markaz.


Another volunteer couldn’t agree more. Vanessa McMahon met Ms. Irfan last year when she was helping to launch Hijab 30 to show solidarity with local Muslim women by wearing the Hijab, the Islamic headscarf. One Facebook post later after asking for help, Bushra was right there by her side. What was going to be a small event in Vanessa’s living room saw over 100 women at the Eagle Ridge YMCA. Bushra even was successful in convincing Markaz ul Islam to pay for the event. Bushra was also responsible for recruiting volunteers who showed up bearing food fit for a feast.

“A smile from Bushra can make your day and fill you with warmth. She will challenge you to view things from multiple angles. To approach all without judgement and with an open heart; to consider all sides. And most importantly to approach all humans with compassion,” says Vanessa.

“Her dedication to her faith, her family, her community and indeed all humanity is organic, and the quintessential quality of a woman worthy of admiration” adds Vanessa.

Sara Eweida, another Sisters’ Committee members also admires Bushra.

“She has the vision to train future leaders by assigning our youth volunteer positions where they can develop various skills. She is also a pillar of social support for vulnerable members of the community, arranging financial and emotional care for those in need. Bushra works behind the scenes and does not willingly stand in the forefront; in fact, she needs coaxing to take credit for her work. She is truly an inspiration to us all.”


Bushra Irfan and 11 other Women of Inspiration will be recognized at the Women of Inspiration Celebration to be held June 2018.

The Women of Inspiration is a partnership between Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude, with a goal to recognize women throughout the Wood Buffalo region who inspire others, break new ground or old barriers and help create change. The series also aims to show local girls positive role models who live right here.

To nominate a woman of inspiration, please visit our website at or contact the Girls Inc. office at 780-790-9236.

For more information, please contact:

Ann Dort-MacLean
Executive Director – Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta
Phone: 780-790-9236  Email: