“For 26 years, the Order of British Columbia has recognized the remarkable accomplishments and efforts by extraordinary British Columbians,” said Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon. “This year we honour British Columbians from a variety of fields, each recipient illustrating the positive difference just one person can make in the lives of many.”
Dr. Saida Rasul
Dr. Saida Rasul is a dentist and community volunteer focused on the improvement of the lives of the less fortunate in British Columbia and in many other countries. During her tenure on the board of governors of SFU, Saida stewarded capital projects in excess of $200 million. She was on the front line for securing the Centre for Performing Arts on Hastings Street in Vancouver. Saida championed the creation of the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Cultures and Societies at SFU by making a substantial financial contribution and chairing the fundraising campaign for the centre. With her husband, Firoz, Saida’s philanthropy includes gifts to the BC Cancer Agency, SFU, UBC, United Way and BC Children’s Hospital, among others. Their total philanthropic giving over the years amounts to nearly $12 million.
Saida is a volunteer to the Aga Khan University where she has applied her professional expertise to help set up two preventive dental programs as part of the hospital systems operating in East Africa and in Pakistan. It is complemented by distance learning with faculty at Canadian and American universities to help upgrade skills of local practitioners. She is working with a team of volunteers to set up a diploma of dental hygiene program at the Aga Khan University to train students from East Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan who will go back and improve the oral health and general health of their rural communities.In recognition of her sustained community contributions over three decades, SFU conferred an honorary Doctor of Law to Saida. She also received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal as well as recent recognition by the British Columbia and Canadian Dental Associations for her contribution to the profession.