The 27-year-old, who was born in Afghanistan, says like Mr Fouda, her candidacy was inspired by the mosque attacks.
"After the attacks, many girls or women in the community were concerned to go out with their hijabs. They felt quite insecure and unsafe," she said.
Ms Hussaini shared her past experiences of Islamophobia, saying she had previously been "singled out for my hijab".
"I thought, 'my community needs me', and I need to be there for them."
- Zahra Hussaini, Election candidate
After the attacks, many women were concerned to go out with their hijabs.
Ms Hussaini has diploma in applied science, but her career trajectory shifted in the aftermath of the attacks.
She is running to be a city councillor in the district of Waimairi, also representing The People's Choice, with climate change action among her policies.
But, she says, her top priority is to "bring communities closer together", and the feedback has, so far, been mostly positive.
"I'm the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman standing for council in Christchurch. It’s a really big thing, especially for non-Muslims. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from non-Muslims," she said.
Ms Hussaini has volunteered with youth and social justice organisations in the past, but says the attacks compelled her to take her work to the next level.
"I made a promise to myself after the attacks. I said 'it’s my duty to serve my community', like I always have, but this time I need to take a bigger step to stand for council."
Breaking down barriers
Mr Fouda will still serve as imam at the Al Noor mosque if elected, he said.
"Coming into politics is something that I never thought of, but after [the attacks] I said 'OK, let’s take the religion out ... and start working and acting together in the community."
"I am standing not because I am Muslim. I am standing because I am a New Zealand citizen and I represent everybody.
Since 15 March, he has been welcoming people into his place of worship, saying education is key to combating hate.
The mosque has since seen an influx of visitors - both locals and people from overseas - including non-Muslims.
- Gamal Fouda, Election candidate
I am standing not because I am Muslim. I am standing because I am a New Zealand citizen and I represent everybody.
Mr Fouda says opening the doors to the mosque is helping to removing misconceptions sometimes associated with Islam.
"People can see 'what is this, what is the mystery behind this building, behind these walls, are there any weapons?'" he said
"'Are Muslims terrorists, do they keep weapons?'"
"Racism is everywhere. But we need to educate our people and put rules and regulations online and on social media, schools and universities, and talk about it" he said.
Refugee success story
Ms Hussaini, who arrived in New Zealand as a refugee, has been endorsed by the country's former Labour prime minister Helen Clark.
It was Ms Clark who in 2001 took in more than 100 asylum seekers from the cargo ship The Tampa after they were rejected by Australia.
Ms Hussaini's brother and sister were among them.
"I remember the times that we were just so worried and frustrated, and crying because we didn’t know where my brother and sister was," she said.
"We didn’t know what happened to them, we didn’t really know if they were alive or not … so it was a really tough time for my family."
Ms Hussaini and her parents eventually joined her siblings in New Zealand as part of a reunification initiative.
Last week, Ms Clark interviewed Ms Hussaini about her political ambitions on New Zealand television.
"I could see how proud she was and it was an emotional moment for me and her because we have that connection," Ms Hussaini said.
"She did tell me to have a thick skin, and I do."