LEEDS, Yorkshire – The Islamic center in Leeds, in the northern English county of Yorkshire, will be celebrating the untold success stories of inspirational Muslim women who have contributed over many generations to the life of the city.
“We have an exhibition that tours all over the country, which highlights Muslim contributions to the NHS and to business, for example,” said Shahab Adris, a regional coordinator for the Leeds Islamic Centre in Harehills, Yorkshire Evening Post reported.
“But we decided we needed to celebrate local heroes from Leeds.
“The focus this year was on Muslim women, and we wanted to celebrate the contribution of Muslim women of many generations to Leeds life. These real stories need to be exposed to as many people as possible.”
Adris was speaking about the second annual ‘Muslims of Leeds’ event.
The event is an offshoot of a national touring series of events organized by MEND, a campaign group which works to tackle misunderstanding and foster friendships across communities.
He said that while the stories of prominent British Muslim figures often get heard, the achievements of ordinary people do not get the same focus.
This triggered the decision to celebrate the stories of passionate, empowered and independent Muslim women in Leeds, as the country marks 100 years since women were first granted the vote, as well as the year when the #MeToo movement emerged.
“We had an almost 100 percent female panel and there were many strong women sharing their stories, Adris said.
“We had a good number of people in the audience who were not Muslim too. I am really delighted that people appreciated the essence of the event.
“Well done to all the volunteers who put it together. They have come up with a winning formula – and we hope to replicate it.
“Among the speakers was a young boxer who has opened her own gym, a doctor, a university lecturer, a journalist and broadcaster, and a spoken word poet paying tribute to the strength of women.”