We the People 2011: The Lives, Art, and Cultures of Muslim and Arab Women was a powerful program, and one that was most needed and timely! Thank you to all who attended the cultural festival and performance, spent time meeting out artists, listen to their stories and learned from their experiences.
The day was filled with great learning about Muslim women’s experiences in the United States. The audience listen to stories that revealed struggle for identity, and experienced art that represented social justice, cultural metaphors, and freedom of religion.
Many thanks to our friends in media, Topher Forhecz, the Gazette, Karen Kullgren,Takoma Park Patch, Ali S. Ahmed, Alhurra Television and many others who featured our artists and participants, and gave prime time to the topic of understanding our Muslim-American community. Many thanks also to all of our wonderful artists and volunteers who made this event possible!
Let us not live in fear and ignorance any longer, and get to know our neighbors. We have so many stories to tell one another. We have so much to learn from each other.
Let us embrace our diversity, as one of the most powerful assets we have as a society. This is what made us succeed in the first place, and it will help us thrive in the long run.
During the show, Rohina recited a few lines from a powerful poem of Rumi that we thought we would share this with you.
Dance when you’re broken open.
Dance when you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance when you’re perfectly free.
Struck, the dancer hears a tambourine inside her,
like a wave that crests into foam at the very top,
Maybe you don’t hear that tambourine,
or the tree leaves clapping time.
Close the ears on your head,
that listen mostly to lies and cynical jokes.
There are other things to see, and hear.
A brilliant city inside your soul!
Thank you to all who sent positive thoughts and feedback after the program. Below are some of your testimonials. We couldn’t have done it without you!
WOW – What an amazing event! My daughters and I were so impressed by the artists, their talents and their inspiring stories. My youngest daughter Cayla is currently learning about Muslim culture at her school and is eager to share what she learned with her teacher. Thank you for inviting and welcoming us. Teresa Riddick
I attended the Empowered Women International event held yesterday at Takoma Park. I enjoyed both the art, the panel discussion and nearing from the artists about their art and what inspires them. I just wanted to say what a wonderful job you are doing and would like to commend you and your colleagues for making the event such a success. Malabi Venkatesan
We were quite overwhelmed by the festival – the two panels, the art, the baklava, but oh my, the one woman show. Only you would be able to convince such an amazing (and busy) women to participate…and are we glad of it. The festival certainly represents a huge amount of work and energy; however, it gave so much to the participants and to the audience. We all bought Nadia’s art – to remember – and the books of course. What else can I say…I guess thank you for your deep commitment to world justice, peace and equality.With great admiration and affection, Dianne Lorenz