Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. Hana Assafiri is a woman on a mission. At a time when Islamophobia is on the rise she runs regular Speed Dating sessions where people come and ask Muslim women any questions they like about Islam. Hello, I’m Kumi Taguchi, and welcome to speed dating. You have an hour. You sit across from someone you’ve never met, and you ask questions in the hope of finding a romantic partner. Sound familiar?
Speed Date a Muslim: An Interview with Hana Assafiri
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Whether it is fostering social cohesion through community events or creating a safe, diverse space for Muslim women to share their stories, Ms Hana Assafiri is a compassionate and unspoken hero within the Victorian community. She is a tireless advocate for women in the community, a spokesperson for Islamic feminism in Australia, and as a long-time Melbourne icon she is celebrated for both her generosity and success as a businesswoman.
In March Hana was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, celebrating her contribution made to local communities and human rights. Hana can be contacted by email: hana. For the past ten years Sarah Strauven worked in a Belgian reception centre for people seeking asylum as a clinical psychologist. She explored extensively the realms of trauma work and narrative therapy and currently pursues a doctoral research in Melbourne on collective narrative practices amongst people with refugee experiences within communities.
She is passionate about contributing to social justice both in therapeutic contexts as in civil society. She can be contacted by email: sarahstrauven hotmail. Key words: social justice, community engagement platforms, Islamic feminism, counter practices, diversity, cultural encounters. Speed Date a Muslim is a monthly event that invites interested members of the public to sit down with Muslim women and learn more about their experiences.
There is no match-making involved, but there are plenty of opportunities to make meaningful connections. Hana Assafiri started Speed Date a Muslim in to provide a space for respectful conversations, which she hoped might break down some of the fear, mistrust and prejudice she saw taking root. The events take place in one of her two restaurants in Melbourne. Hana: It was against a backdrop of increasing Islamophobia, which is often directed at the most vulnerable people, and women in particular.
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H ana Assafiri knows how to harness the power of women. Having recently opened an off-shoot of the vegetarian restaurant in Brunswick East, called Moroccan Deli-Cacy, Assafiri has once again surrounded herself with women, this time in a bid to dispel myths around Muslims and to create a more cohesive society, one conversation at a time.
Every fortnight at 3pm on a Sunday, Muslim women gather at the restaurant while Assafiri brings out plates of her famous Arabic pastries and cups of tea. But the people arriving are not just here to eat. Assafiri addresses the group of about 30 men and women who are gathered around the tables and perched on stools, with Muslim women dotted between them. Respectfully, we can ask why people wear the hijab, do they sleep in it, do they shower in it.
This session is not your regular Speed Date Event. This is an opportunity in a safe environment to ask Muslim women about their faith Riverlinks and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra present Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
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Jul 7, – A monthly event in Melbourne, in which the public is invited to ask frank questions of Muslim women, does not involve any dating, but is meant to be.
What can you do to change the minds and sway the hearts of people living in a town with a reputation — true or not — for supporting anti-Islam politics? According to a metropolitan Melbourne restaurateur and human-rights activist, you pack 22 Muslim women on a bus, send them to the location in question, and ask the locals out on a date.
Since inception, these dating events have been a wild success, with requests flowing in to Assafiri from around Australia – and abroad – requesting she bring the speed dating team to their region. Speed Date A Muslim is the brainchild of Hana Assafiri, who launched the event in from the upstairs dining room of her Brunswick cafe, the Moroccan Deli-cacy. The overall aim is to provide people who want to explore, challenge or better understand their racial and religious perceptions with an opportunity to do just that.
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