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Amazing Race a "roller coaster," says UTSC alum

UTSC alum Nabeela Barday (right) and childhood friend Shahla Kara competed in this season of CTV's Amazing Race Canada, which begins airing this week.

When Season Two of the Amazing Race Canada kicks off Tuesday, Nabeela Barday, a UTSC alumna (BBA, 2007), will be one of the 22 contestants travelling to picturesque locales to take on arduous challenges.

Barday, a Toronto-based consultant with Accenture, joined forces with her childhood friend, Shahla Kara, to compete for the grand prize, a package that includes $250,000, pickup trucks, gasoline and airline tickets for a year.

“Shahla came to visit me last year when I was working for Accenture in Haiti, and we travelled through Panama together,” said Barday. “She suggested applying for the Amazing Race Canada, because we travel well together and our skills are complementary.”

Barday is a planner, while Kara is more of a risk-taker. And although Barday had never seen an episode of the show, she knew about the concept and agreed to help Kara fulfil her dream.

The women, who are both children of immigrants from East Africa, thought it would be a good opportunity to showcase their lives as outgoing, single Canadian women of the Muslim faith. 

“I think it is a great platform to give visibility to our faith,” Barday said. “I think the show demonstrates that it is okay to be who you are.”

The travel necessitated by the script was wonderful, too, said Barday, who has visited more than 30 countries already.

“The opportunity to see our beautiful country was remarkable on its own,” she said.

Will she win? Barday knows the answer, but she is sworn to secrecy. Although she can’t reveal details of her adventures before the show airs, she is “absolutely glad I did it.

“It is grueling, it is a competition and we were racing against some very, very good competitors,” Barday said. “It was an emotional roller coaster.”


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