Islamophobia Awareness Month events ‘Muslim Stories’ in November celebrated in Newham

This year, to mark Islamophobia Awareness Month, Newham Council will launch a programme of activities including film screenings, art exhibitions, talks, art workshops and performances. The programme launches in collaboration with London Indian Film Festival with a screening of Barir Naam Shahana (A House Named Shahana) on Thursday 2 November at Stratford East Picturehouse. Leesa Gazi’s debut feature is an empowering tale of a young woman battling the odds to live life as she wishes.

Islamophobia Awareness Month takes place annually to celebrate the positive contributions of Muslims to British society and raise awareness of Islamophobia with the hope of creating a society free from hate. The programme is themed around ‘Muslim Stories’ and aims to facilitate connections among people from diverse backgrounds using the transformative power of storytelling.

Our programme highlights are:

Barir Naam Shahana Film Screening and Q&A

Thursday 2 November, 6.30-9.30pm, Stratford East Picturehouse

Leesa Gazi’s debut feature is an empowering tale of a young woman battling the odds to live life as she wishes. Raised by a weak and ineffectual father and stepmother, Dipa is essentially under the control of her uncle. Having committed a teenage indiscretion, she is forced to marry a widower in England. After suffering abuse and not being able to settle down, Dipa runs away and returns to Bangladesh. Seven years later, she has become a forthright and independent young woman living life on her own terms.

There will also be a Q&A with the director, Leesa Gazi.

My Story: Stress, Religious Coping & Wellbeing

Friday 10 November, 6pm – 7.15pm, Forest Gate Library

Local resident Rashid Zaman will talk about overcoming challenges around Islamophobia opening up a discussion around mental health and will share her journey into better wellbeing through exercise, faith, and gratitude.

The Story of the Duff: Drumming Workshop (16yrs+)

Saturday 18 November, 6.30-7.45pm, Manor Park Library

Local duo Pearls of Islam, Sakinah Lenoir and Rabiah Mali, will introduce participants to the the role and significance of the daff in Muslim traditions, and its physical, spiritual and emotional benefits.

Muslim Variety Show

Thursday 30 November, 7-9.30pm, Old Town Hall Stratford

An evening of poetry, music, dance and comedy from diverse Muslim storytellers from London to celebrate the end of Newham’s Islamophobia Awareness Month. The night features Jumana Moon, Hamza Bouzhar, Prince Abdi, Bustami, Shareefa Energy, Hawiyya Dance Company and Safe Adam.

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