A Bangladeshi by birth, Mezba Mahtab was brought up in Abu Dhabi, UAE and moved to Canada with his family when he was 18. From an early age, he was taught the Quran by Sheikh Siddiqullah, a renowned Bangladeshi mufassir was also employed by the UAE royal family as an Islamic teacher. In Canada, Mezba completed his undergraduate studies in Computer Science and later went on to complete an MBA from Rotman School of Business. He currently works as a Software Architect for the University of Toronto.

Mezba had always been interested in photography and writing. During his undergraduate years, he worked as a reporter, and later on as Editor-in-Chief, of the campus newspaper The Underground at Scarborough College. His passion on speaking out on issues that troubled his conscience led him to start a popular blog, A Bengali in TO ( http://mezba.blogspot.com ), in 2005. From 2005 – 2008 he wrote prolifically, attracting coverage from various sources such as the Washington Post (USA), the Daily Star (Bangladesh) and the Toronto Star (Canada). Topics often included diverse and controversial issues such as the place of women in the mosque, the role of Islam in the government, the Katrina disaster, Canadian politics, Bollywood and reflections of a single Muslim guy growing up in a Western society.

Circumstances led him to reading the Quran, this time as a discerning skeptic. Does the Quran really say a Muslim cannot be friends with a non-Muslim? Is Islam compatible with modern twentieth century values? Are women second class citizens in Islam?

As Mezba started to reacquaint himself with the Holy Quran, and for the first time, understanding and contemplating the meaning of the words rather than just reciting them by rote, he was struck by just how amazing, how superb, how marvellous was the Scripture, and just how it had the answers he was looking for, and more. To his dismay, Mezba found that the Book was often quoted out of context, often by people with ulterior motives. He was therefore looking, and wondering, of how there could be an interesting medium to preach the Quran and its moderate message. This led him to create the blog that aims to explain the Quran by means of Lego – those small, plastic toy bricks that every kid has enjoyed – in an illustrated and child friendly environment.

The blog “Read With Meaning” ( http://readwithmeaning.wordpress.com ) has enjoyed a fantastic reception from the Muslim community. Started in October 2010, an average of 200 readers visit the page daily, with the highest daily being 700. The Facebook page has over 2000 fans and it has been picked as “Art of Month” twice by MuslimMatters, as well as being voted a Brass Crescent Award winner in 2011.

Mezba currently lives in Toronto with his wife and son, and hopes to continue his work with the blog for many years to come.