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Gift of the Givers co-founder Zorah Bibi Sooliman graduates with Master’s in Counselling Psychology

Founder and director of the Gift of the Givers, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, said he is proud of his wife Zorah’s achievement

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, left, and daughter Samee’a Sooliman, right, congratulating Zorah Bibi Sooliman. Picture: Abhi Indrarajan

Published May 16, 2022

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DURBAN –Zorah Bibi Sooliman, the wife of Imtiaz Sooliman and co-founder of humanitarian aid organisation Gift of the Givers, graduated with a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) on Monday.

For her thesis, Sooliman examined the lived experiences of Muslim women in a polygamous marriage in Durban and surrounding areas.

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The university said throughout her life, Sooliman has been an advocate for women’s empowerment, independence and education.

“We must use our abilities and skills to contribute to the communities we come from and make a difference in their lives,” said Sooliman.

Sooliman established a counselling service called the Gift of the Givers Careline for women in polygamous marriages who are “distraught and broken” by the actions of their husbands.

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The careline has grown immensely and has been extended to the public free of charge with telephone and face-to-face counselling being offered.

The university said Sooliman has been at the forefront of the Gift of the Givers since its inception in 1992.

“Very early in their marriage, she raised her four daughters and only son while her husband flew off to war zones delivering aid to those who needed it the most. She remains the anchor to the family and is still quite active in the foundation,” said UKZN.

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Her advice to other scholars is to work hard, be disciplined, determined and keep focused on the end goal.

“The road has been long, but I finally got here with the help of my children, my husband, friends, family, colleagues and most of all, God,” she said.

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman took time-off from his role as founder and director of the organisation to celebrate his wife’s achievement.

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“I’m proud of her achievement,” said Dr Sooliman.

Imtiaz and Zorah Bibi Sooliman embracing. Picture: Abhi Indrarajan

Proud graduate, Zorah Bibi Sooliman. Picture: Abhi Indrarajan

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