As a Muslim woman from Northern Nigeria, you’re not allowed to go into certain professions, you’re not allowed to dream beyond your confined space because it is believed that you shouldn’t have wild ambitions; because eventually, you’re going to get married.
I’ve never actually experienced much of mosques during Ramadan. Where I live, there aren’t any big mosques that cater well for women, except for one. I went to one iftar and it was nice to be around other people. Our eid prep starts very early! Usually we’ll make sure the big thing (clothes/presents) are done well before Ramadan.
This festival marks the launch of the global Muslim Women’s Arts Foundation, set up by the founder of MACFEST, Qaisra Shahraz MBE to celebrate and elevate Muslim female artists across the globe.
. Over time, I have become so hyper-aware of the issue of representation that I can’t help but make sure that shows that have brown and/or Muslim characters also avoid being complicit in harming our communities via our nation’s racist/xenophobic imaginations.
Fitriya Mohamed: Absolutely, but I did not let my difference stop me from pursuing sports. More so, with
my teammates, the love and support I received from them encouraged me to continue playing. On the other hand, I was discouraged on multiple occasions by members of my community and family members, because to them, “sport is for boys, not girls”. I was told to focus on other things that would get me somewhere. They tried to use religion to exemplify their reasonings but that did not make sense to me because deep down, I knew what I was doing was not wrong.
In the first scene where Ara took off her headscarf in Ben’s bedroom, I shut my laptop out of sheer exasperation. I agree that the about-to-unfold premarital sexual activity meant that a headscarf was out of place, but the visuals of her removing it were not what I was expecting.
We do brunch together to catch up on life and laugh till our bellies hurt, drop off a dish we cooked and get something else in return in that butter tub. I can give them constructive criticism and advice with good intentions. I’m there to catch them or pull them up whenever they are about to fall.
. “Our stories are universal,” says Cadar. “So we want to create an international community where we can have real talks and be inspired by one another”. She stressed that as Africans, black women inherited the art of storytelling from their ancestors, so the digital sisterhood is tapping into the incredible power of storytelling to change lives.
I’ve grown a lot as a single woman. Had I married earlier, I wouldn’t have been as patient or kind. At the same time, I had little understanding of my rights so it’d be easier for me to be taken advantage of.
Muslim women are starting to understand that working on themselves emotionally is the first step to finding a suitable spouse. That culture does not always respect what our beautiful religion has taught us, that it’s okay to stand up for your rights when that happens, that it’s more important to invest in things like pre-marital counselling than in an extravagant wedding.