The fifth annual Expressions of Muslim Women (EMW) took place on Saturday, November 17 at the Centrepointe Studio Theatre. The sold-out event raised funds for local charities like Sadaqa Food Bank and Nelson House, a shelter for women and children fleeing abuse.
The title of this year's event was “Strength in Sisterhood”, a theme which ran through several of the performances that evening. The theme was also embodied by the commitment of the event organizers, a group of women who have volunteered to make EMW an artistic celebration for women to look forward to each year.
Help may soon be just a phone call away for Muslim women in distress.
1-888-315-NISA, the first toll-free anonymous phone counseling service for Canadian Muslimahs, is being launched this month by Mercy Mission, a non-profit Islamic organization.
The helpline, a project of Mercy Mission's Women's Resource Centre, is designed to answer questions and provide references and advice to Muslim women across the country seeking support, guidance or even a listening ear.
Nestled between the fruit markets and video stores on a busy street in St-Laurent, many may pass by the modest bureau of the Amal Center for Women without a second glance. An inconspicuous sign at the front door leads the way up a flight of stairs to the center's office, where Muslim women from different parts of the city come together to bring hope to those that need it most.
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." - Helen Keller
In preparation for this article I asked Fatma Maged to email me her favorite saying and she replied with the quote above by Helen Keller. Later, as I sat down in an interview with Fatma, I soon realized why this quote is so closely related to her own personal biography.
Expressions of Muslim Women held their 4th annual show called Winds of Change at Centrepointe Studio Theatre on Dec. 10, 2011. The show exhibited artwork and performances by local Muslim women to a female audience. The new venue provided a professional space for this group of talented women to share their art with a full house of over 200 people. Proceeds went to local charities, including the Sadaqa Food Bank. The following are some of the items presented and the reactions from audience members:
Five o'clock in the afternoon on Sat. Nov. 6th, 2010 and I'm late. Krystal calls me on my cell, “Where are you?” I tell her I'm on my way. There are two hours left until the show starts, and yet, we still have to meet to practice the finale. I wonder if everyone practiced their own parts yet? Then there's the mic checks, the lighting check, the signs to post up, the easels to put together, the tables to place, the artwork to get up, coordinating the different volunteers”¦ do the performers know their order? Where's a program? Take a break for Maghrib prayer!