(December 2018) My name is MARWA ABDELHALEEM and I’m a kindergarten teacher by day and a personal trainer by night. Outside of work, I’m a globetrotter with my 10 year old son, visiting over 36 countries. I’m also a children’s author and an international marathon runner. I’ve run competitively in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Canada. My next goal is to complete a full marathon in South Africa called The Two Oceans.
The modelling industry wasn’t something I ever thought I would pursue solely because I didn’t think there was an interest in someone like me; a Middle Eastern Muslim woman choosing to wear Hijab (religious covering).
However, during the summer of 2017, modelling found me and things have never been the same. I was approached by Fredau in downtown Toronto while I was sitting on a bench and she introduced herself as the manager of STRUTT Central and asked me if I was interested in modelling. I was completely taken aback and thought maybe she was talking to someone behind me. I told her I had never thought about it before and with a beautiful heartfelt smile she told me she would love to represent me and proceeded to give me her card. I hesitated to take it, but in the end, I did. Since then, I had the experience of auditioning for stores such as Shoppers Drug Mart and Nordstrom. I’ve also been been booked for a number of commercials for Royal Bank of Canada, Big White Wall and Metrolinx. My next session will be a still photo shoot with a Security company. Not only has STRUTT Central given me the opportunity to shine as a Muslim woman in the industry but it has also boosted my own self confidence and paved a path for me that was far beyond my comprehension.
I sincerely thank Fredau and the Strutt Central team for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself and for that, I am truly grateful. Thanks for reading!