A women-only event in an intimate setting in north-west London has seen Muslims and Jews share one another’s stories and culture, in the first initiative of its kind in the UK.

Participants met at Rumi’s Cave for the ‘Female Voices’ event, in which women from both faith groups learnt and built connections through music, poetry and jokes.

Hosted by Muslim women’s organisation Rabia’s Garden, the event was the first time the Muslim and Jewish organisations have come together to create connection between women from different backgrounds.

It was supported by Finchley Road community centre JW3 and interfaith group Three Faiths Forum (3FF), with the Mayoress of Camden Daniela Pears in attendance.

“It’s an absolute inspiration to be in the warmth and the energy provided by women coming from multiple faiths and backgrounds,” she said. “There’s a magnetic vibration in the room of positive appreciation of each other.”

Storytellers Jumana Moon and Adele Moss opened the evening. This was followed with lyrical poetry by Muneera Pilgrim and Golden Blue, and musical performances by Rukea and the Pearls of Islam.

“Discussions about feminism and issues facing women today can sometimes tend towards generalisation or stereotypes,” said Holly Jones of 3FF. “This creates a space for women of different backgrounds to better understand and celebrate their differences, as well as their similarities”.

Participant Onjali Rauf said: “It felt like a truly safe and open space where conversations that would not normally transpire were free to do so.”

Photos: Ruth Corney

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