Seemi is a Sufi scholar with specialisations in the history of religion, comparative mysticism, gender studies and Islamic literature, culture and spirituality. She has a special interest in the life, teachings and poetry of Rumi. For over 25 years, Seemi has lectured internationally at Rumi themed festivals and workshops and has given performances reciting his poetry both in English and the original Farsi. As a Founding Board Member of the Vancouver Rumi Society, Seemi has hosted and introduced the annual Sema ceremony of the whirling dervishes.
Deeply involved in interfaith work, including at The Centre for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University, Seemi teaches Classical Arabic at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Born in London to North Indian Muslim parents, Seemi was raised and educated throughout America and the Middle East, including at Duke University, King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia and The American University in Cairo. As a teacher with Indian and Turkish Sufi lineages, Seemi has a unique ability to illuminate the symbolism and spiritual meaning of Sufi traditions.
Seemi is also a poet and memoirist and has trained in Western classical voice as well as Qur’anic recitation. She has performed scripture and devotional poetry in Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Turkish from Cape Town to Istanbul to the United Nations. She has lectured widely and her interviews and performances have been featured on NPR, CBC and the BBC documentary Islam: Empire of Faith.