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“The ocean is like God and raindrops are the religion. When they fall into the ocean they become one.”
Zoya Ahmed and Nurun Uddin

Muslim Women's Council 

Project Harmony: Brewing Understanding

Muslim Women’s Council is a registered charity based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Our vision is ‘for every woman, life with all its opportunities’, and our mission is to empower women for the benefit of society.

Our project entitled ‘Project Harmony: Brewing Understanding’, is about developing an open space for women of Jewish & Muslim communities to engage in constructive dialogue about the Israel-Palestine conflict. We hope to develop strong, lasting relationships based on commonalities and experiences among women from both communities, and to reduce stereotype, prejudice and misconceptions about each other’s communities.

We will hold twelve 3-hour long sessions over 12 months, across Bradford and Leeds for up to 30 women from Muslim and Jewish communities to meet each session in a cozy tea and chat setting. The project's central element involves cooking and sharing food, creating a safe, respectful, warm, and inviting atmosphere that encourages open dialogue and understanding. We will also ask participants to approach each session with empathy, open-mindedness, and a commitment to active listening.

Through a series of tea and chat sessions, participants from diverse backgrounds from both communities will come together to engage in respectful conversations, to express their views and emotions. These sessions will provide a unique opportunity for women from both communities to connect, share personal experiences, and challenge preconceived notions.

One of the key focus areas of these gatherings is to discuss the complex situation in Gaza. By creating a safe and non-judgmental space for dialogue, "Brewing Understanding" allows participants to empathetically listen to and comprehend each other's perspectives. This open exchange of ideas and emotions is a powerful way to build mutual understanding and seek common ground. To address misconceptions, stereotypes, and concerns. These sessions will be facilitated by trained mediators to ensure respectful and constructive conversations and to guide the discussion and maintain a respectful atmosphere.

The areas of discussion we expect to cover each session include historical overview of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, impact on women and children, the role of media in perpetuating stereotypes and biases, potential pathways to peace and the role that women can play in conflict resolution, share personal stories and experiences related to the conflict, etc.

It's important to emphasise that "Brewing Understanding" transcends political divisions. The project underscores the shared humanity of its participants and promotes peaceful coexistence through dialogue and understanding. By highlighting the common values and aspirations that unite Muslim and Jewish women, this initiative will serve as a beacon of hope for peace and empathy in the community.

For more information please see their webpage ladies-tea-chat 

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