Women can be effective bridge-builders between communities. For that reason we started the Women ARTogether project. By creating opportunities for women of different faiths and beliefs to meet and build new networks together, they take charge and act on the issues that matter to them – building new links between their communities in the process.
On the 30th and 31st May we organised a film screening and networking evening for women, in partnership with the UK Jewish Film Festival and the Islamic Society of Britain. 3FF’s Hadiya Masieh travelled to Manchester and Leeds to show Jewish and Muslim women there the film “Arranged”. Both venues were sold out, with an equal mix of women from both communities, most of whom had never been to an interfaith event before. It didn’t take much to get the women discussing over food after the film – it was almost as if the warmth of the friendship depicted in film had spread out into the audience.
“It has been brilliant to share this film with these amazing women in Manchester and Leeds. We had a great reaction at similar events in London and we wanted to bring it here and see if there was more we could do.”
Julie Siddiqi from the Islamic Society of Britain commented:
“It has been a real pleasure to meet some people doing excellent work in these two cities. We don’t want the conversation to stop here and we have seen lots of numbers being swapped and e-mails being exchanged which is fantastic. There has been a brilliant buzz in the room and it has been a privilege to be a part of it. Well worth my journey up the M1!”.
Hassidic and orthodox Muslim women came to the screening which had a mix of all ages: The youngest being a 9-years-old girl who had come with her mother and aunt. Existing interfaith organisations took the opportunity to promote local discussion circles and meetings they hold for women. 3FF will be helping to connect women to groups in both cities.