poster new shisha.jpeg

recent publication(s):


Sanctuary Inter/rupted: Borders, Illegalization, Unbelonging. The Canadian Geographer. (with Jessica Kirk and Emily Gilbert).

Academic CV available by request.

Following the City of Toronto’s shisha ban which came into effect on April 1st, 2016 and has since forced nearly 70 predominantly Black and Brown migrant-owned businesses to close and/or restructure their livelihoods, the owner of Scarborough’s Habibiz Shisha Lounge asks, “where else is there for us in this city?”. Through my ongoing MA research, I centre the city as an important site for tracing places that borderlands emerge, and I investigate the shisha ban as site of contradiction wherein which illegalization and surveillance practices “are used to reinforce the internal borders of the nation” (Villegas, 2013). In doing so I seek to address is the intimate relationship between surveillance and placemaking that Muslim people in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) continue to navigate. This project is a three-part community-based intervention addressing:

(1) How the shisha ban emerged in the City of Toronto?

(2) What implications the shisha ban has on Muslim placemaking practices?

(3) And how activist and arts-based work can and is addressing surveillance and illegalization of Muslim people in the city.

Please contact if interested in participating to archive Toronto’s shisha lounge history, trace the rise of its illegalization, and imagine the futures of Muslim placemaking in the GTA.


slides from "Sanctuary Inter/rupted: Assessing Toronto’s Shisha Ban” at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, 10-14 April.