Our Goal, Vision and Commitment
Gilary Massa and Timaj Garad are community organizers, artists, and writers with a passion for creating beautiful spaces for Muslim women to connect and grow.
Together they founded The Sisters' Retreat, a travel company specializing in women-only retreats.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”- Audre Lorde
Our mission is to create self-care and vacation opportunities that feel safe, inclusive and are dedicated to nurturing the mind, body, and soul.
Our Panama retreat aims to create an all-inclusive vacation for Muslim women that is intimate and authentic.
Our events and Panama retreat are about supporting and promoting sisterhood and celebrating local economies and culture of women.
Why Women Only?
Because so rarely do we have gendered spaces that allow us to be open and honest about the healing we need.
This retreat is dedicated to the women who spend all their emotional and physical energy healing and caring for others. You can’t heal if you are broken. This is your chance to take care of you.
We created The Sisters Retreat for:
Muslim women artists, educators, healers, professionals, mothers, activists, and change-makers.
If you are are a Muslim woman that spends her days taking care of those around you, and are in need of a break, the Sisters’ Retreat is for you.
Gilary Massa is an Afro-Panamanian Muslim who calls Toronto, Canada her home. As her day job Gilary works in the area of Human Rights and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion supporting school boards, advocacy organizations, labor unions, government agencies, and private enterprises through organizational change work that centers on human rights, equity, and inclusion.
Gilary has been an active member of the student and labour movements for over a decade and is dedicated to creating spaces for communities to unite for social justice and equity
She was driven to create The Sisters’ Retreat, out of her love for her home country of Panama, and her own desire to have some time in the sun connecting with women who spend their days taking care of community.
Timaj Garad is a Toronto-based Ethiopian multi-disciplinary storyteller, using poetry, theatre, and music to bring her stories to life. Her art is auto-biographical, working at the intersections of a black Muslim woman challenging injustice, unearthing truths, and healing. As an award-winning Artist, Timaj Garad has graced over 250 stages and facilitated several arts-based workshops.
Timaj is known for creating and leading community arts programs such as Stellar (R)evolution: a poetry & theatre series for Black Muslimahs, Project Heartwork multi-arts wellness retreat series for Muslimah change-makers, and LUMINOUS Fest - Canada's first Black Muslim Arts Festival, to name a few. Timaj has coordinated a community storytelling initiative for the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), in addition to working on her debut album to be released in 2020.
Timaj believes in the transformative power of the arts to meaningfully engage in capacity-building and strengthening communities and brings this element into The Sisters' Retreat's wellness programming. You can follow more of her work at timajgarad.com