Beyond Resettlement Conference Program

November 14-16, 2022
Carleton University

The conference will take in-person with an online streaming option for remote viewers. Some panelists will be presenting in person, and others will be presenting remotely. All conference participants will view both in-person and remote presentations, unless otherwise noted.

Conference Program

Monday, November 14, 2022

Location: Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre

355 Cooper Street, Ottawa, Ontario
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Time  Description
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm No New Land? 

With Tina Athaide, Tasneem Jamal, and Hafsa Zayyan

Hosted by Zulfikar Hirji

Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre

Hosted by Zulfikar Hirji (York University, Toronto)

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the expulsion of more than fifty thousand Ugandan Asians expelled from Uganda in 1972 by the military dictator Idi Amin. These people, many of whom had known no other home than Africa, some for generations, were given ninety days to leave Uganda or face severe consequences. It marks the anniversary of the full commencement of Idi Amin’s almost decade-long reign of terror during which more than five-hundred thousand Ugandan Africans were murdered. Join our host, York University’s Zulfikar Hirji and authors Tina Athaide, Tasneem Jamal, and Hafsa Zayyan for a conversation about their fictional stories of loss, longing and belonging, each set in the context of the expulsion.

This event is hosted in conjunction with the Ottawa International Writer’s Festival.

Tina Athaide was born in Entebbe. After leaving Uganda she immigrated with her family to Canada from England. She has been a teacher for thirty years. Believing that books can present different experiences to children in an organic, natural way, she started publishing early literacy readers for the educational market before her debut book, Orange for the Sunsets. The Middle Grade book is a Junior Library Guild Selection and winner of the CCBC Geoffrey Bilson award for historical fiction for young readers. In 2021 she published her debut picture book Meena’s Mindful Moment and is currently working on a Middle Grade book in verse about an Indian family expelled from Uganda and sent to a resettlement camp in England.

Tasneem Jamal was born in Mbarara, Uganda, and immigrated to Canada with her family in 1975. The author of the novel Where the Air Is Sweet, she serves as a nonfiction editor at The New Quarterly and is at work on her second novel. When not writing, Tasneem serves as Communications Officer at Project Ploughshares, a Waterloo-based peace research institute. She lives in Kitchener.

Hafsa Zayyan is half-Nigerian, half-Pakistani and was born and raised (mostly) in the UK.  She is a dispute resolution lawyer working in the City of London and is also the author of We Are All Birds of Uganda, the winner of MerkyBooks’ inaugural New Writer’s Prize and short-listed for the Goldsboro Glass Bell Award 2022, focusing on the South Asian expulsion from Uganda in 1972.  When she is not fighting fires in Court, Hafsa spends her time reading, writing and painting.  She recently contributed an essay in a collection titled Of This Our Country, alongside other Nigerian authors including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Inua Ellams and Abi Dare. Her next publication is expected for May 2023.

PLEASE NOTE: For the safety and comfort of all patrons, masks are required to attend this event in person.

This event is free. It will be held in-person and live streamed. Register here. (Note: Beyond Resettlement conference attendees are already registered for this event).

There will be an event hosted by the Uganda Association of Ottawa at Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre before the literary panel. For more information and to register, visit their website.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Location: Richcraft Hall, Carleton University
Time: 8:30 am – 4 pm; 7 pm – 9 pm (online)

Time Description
8:30 am – 9:00 am Registration
9:00 am – 9:30 am Opening remarks
9:30 am – 11:00 am Panel I: The Expulsion Order and A Warm Welcome? (Re)Settling and Early Experiences of Life in Canada among East African Asians

Panelists will explore the historical context of the expulsion decree including the chain migration of Ugandan Asians as “twice migrants” who moved from the Indian sub-continent to Uganda and subsequently to Canada, the UK, India and elsewhere following the decree. Discussants will touch on the politics of belonging, the distinct nomenclature of the resettlement, chain migration, and an auto-ethnography of expulsion.

All panelists will present remotely.


  • Karim H. Karim (Carleton University), Chain Migration: The Ugandan Expulsion and the East African Ismaili Diaspora
  • Farouk Mitha (University of Victoria), Elusive Homelands: Politics of Belonging for Canadian, Ugandan, Gujarati, Ismaili Muslims
  • Ria Kapoor (Queen Mary University of London), Documenting Belonging: Nomenclature and Identity Papers in the 1972 Expulsion
  • Mohamed Keshavjee (Institute of Ismaili Studies, London), The Ugandan Asian Expulsion: Lessons for Asian Minorities in Africa
11:00 am – 11:15 am Break
11:15 am – 12:15 pm Panel II: Gender in Motion: The Cultural, Economic, and Political Impact of Migration on East African Asian Women

International migration is a multifaceted element of the human experience and intersects with multiple levels of analysis include race, class, and gender. Panelists will explore how Asian women in East Africa navigated the expulsion decree and their subsequent resettlement internationally. Discussions will focus on explorations of home and homeland from a gendered perspective along with how gender affects cuisine, migration, and labour.

One panelist will present remotely.


  • Aarshi Dua (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Explorations of Home and Homeland through the lens of Asian Women in East Africa 
  • Zainub Verjee (Massey College, University of Toronto; York University), Archive to repertoire: Cookbooks and labour of women in resettlement
12:15 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm Keynote presentation 

The keynote speaker will present remotely.

  • Mahmood Mamdani (Makerere University; Columbia University), The Uganda Asian Expulsion: What Have We Learnt Over the Past Fifty Years?
2:45 pm – 3:00 pm Break
3:00 pm – 4:30pm Panel III: Home and Homeland: Explorations of Transnationalism and Faith amongst the Ugandan Asian Refugee Diaspora in Canada and Beyond

Being resettled internationally throughout the 1970s presented unique challenges for Ugandan Asian refugees. Panelists will engage with how faith intersects with concepts of home and homeland, resettlement in South Carolina, and a specific group of Ugandan Asians who remain stranded in Dubai.

All panelists will present in-person.


  • Omme-Salma Rahemtullah (South Asian American Digital Archive), Ugandan Asian Resettlement in South Carolina, USA
  • Richard Vokes (The University of Western Australia), The Ugandan Asian Crisis in Australia
  • Alyshea Cummins (Carleton University), What’s Happening to the Faith of our Forefathers?: Religious Transmission in East-African Ismaili Muslim families in Canada
  • Salima Versi (University of Alberta), “Where do we get to exist?”: Reflections on Dynamic Definitions of Home Among Canadian Ismailis from East Africa

Location: Online
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00 pm

Time Description
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Workshop I: Documentary Screenings (Online only)

In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary, CTV producer Shelley Ayers with support from international journalist Omar Sachedina and a host of community members created a W5 series exploring the expulsion, resettlement, and connections to East Africa amongst Ugandan Asian refugees. After viewing the one our feature from CTV the producer and participants will participate in an interactive online Q&A hosted in partnership with the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Location: Richcraft Hall, Carleton University
Time: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm

Time Description
8:30 am – 9:00 am Registration
9:00 am – 10:30 am Panel IV: Investigating the Legacy: Understanding the Ugandan Asian Refugee Resettlement Initiative, Impacts, and Conceptions of Identity 

After 50 years of resettlement and heightened levels of forced displacement, revisiting the Ugandan Asian experience reveals insights on the global refugee regime and key questions on personal identity. Panelists will touch on globalizing resettlement, the Ugandan Asian crisis in Australia, comparisons between Ugandan Asians and recent East African refugee resettlements and exploring how Ugandan Asians define themselves today.

One panelist will present remotely.


  • Sara Cosemans (KU Leuven;  UHasselt), Globalizing Resettlement. The Role of the Ugandan Asian Expulsion in the Emergence of a Neoliberal Refugee Regime. (online)
  • Samuel Kisitu (University of Toronto), Beyond Finding a Home in the Promised Land: A Comparative Examination of Canada’s Response to Ugandan Asian Refugees of 1972 and Recent Refugees from East Africa
  • Shezan Muhammedi (Carleton University), “100% Canadian” – Exploring the Personal Reflections on Identity and Belonging Amongst Ugandan Asian Refugees in Canada
  • Arif Virani (Member of Parliament, Parkdale – High Park), Competing Conceptions of Identity That Characterize Ugandan Asians
10:30 am – 10:45 am Break
10:45 am – 12:15 pm Panel V: British Ugandan Asians @ 50 

29,000 Ugandan Asians were resettled in the United Kingdom following Idi Amin’s expulsion order. In collaboration with the British Ugandan Asians at 50, a group of scholars, oral historians, and members of the British Ugandan Asian community will investigate the resettlement process from a UK perspective. The panel will also feature newly captured video oral histories amongst volunteers and British Ugandan Asian who were originally housed in 16 resettlement centres throughout the United Kingdom.

All panelists will present remotely.


  • Alan Critchley (BUA50), Introduction
  • Mihir Patel (India Overseas Trust; BUA50), The Work of British Ugandan Asians at 50
  • Saima Nasar (University of Bristol), Migrant-Refugees: Resettling Ugandan Asians in Britain
  • Chandrika Joshi (Hindu Priest), Hiraeth: a Welsh Ugandan Asian Reflects on the Longing for Home
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm Lunch
1:15 pm – 3:00 pm Workshop II: Roundtable on Commemoration, Remembrance, and Identity among Ugandan Asians (In-person only)

This workshop offers an opportunity for the Ugandan Asian refugee community to share personal stories about their resettlement journeys and life experiences following the expulsion. Community members will be encouraged to discuss pertinent reflections on what it means to mark the 50th anniversary and why remembering these lived experiences are important for the public.

For online participants: Self-directed activity. Details to follow.

3:00 pm – 3:15 pm Break
3:15 pm – 5:15 pm Workshop III: Global Café on Intergenerational Identities and Conceptions of Self 50 Years On (In-person only)

The goal of the workshop is to facilitate small group discussions on identity and belonging amongst all conference participants. We want to encourage people to share stories and conceptions of what it means to be members of a national community while simultaneously embodying diverse religious, ethnic, and gendered identities. Ultimately, we hope to uncover some of the real ways that our conceptions of self are influenced by our histories of migration, our cultural surroundings, and most importantly the inclusive and exclusive elements pathways of belonging.

For online participants: Self-directed activity. Details to follow.

5:15 pm – 5:30 pm Closing remarks