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I Can Be She - We Want to Hear Your Stories

by Polly Gannaway

It has been almost a year since we set out, through our I Can Be She project, to provide a source for young women to go for information and inspiration, as well as a platform to challenge common misconceptions about women and Islam and empower more women to join us in vocalising this challenge.

Maslaha has always worked to harness the immense power of story-telling and sought to find new ways to tell these stories. We have met some amazing women along the I Can Be She journey, from the worlds of sport, business, art, health and more.

Free To Be is our next step.

We will be telling the stories of some of the most pioneering, most inspiring and most visionary Muslim women through the media of fine art, photography and soundscape. Through a series of workshops over the summer we will also be giving young women the skills and confidence to do the same for themselves.

The first woman we profiled was Muna Hassan, who campaigns for the health issues connected with chewing khat to be understood taken seriously by government and health practitioners. Take a look!

Artwork by Emily Kirby - Emily’s paintings have been exhibited in Prague, southern Africa, and across the UK. Her work has always been concerned with the study of people, revealing the figure to be a landscape in itself. Her continuing aim is to explore techniques which portray people in a free and powerful way, as a celebration of their identity.

Photography by Liz HingleyLiz intimately documents political and social issues, with a particular interest in alternative modes of community living. Her exhibition of 2009 – “Under Gods”: stories from Soho Road’ documented the lives of residents on one of Britain’s most culturally diverse streets in Birmingham.

Soundscapes by Angela RobsonAngela is an acclaimed BBC radio documentary maker and has reported from twenty‐eight countries, including Rwanda, Tuva and East Timor. A regular contributor to Woman’s Hour on Radio 4, her items have included a week‐long series on five ‘Women of the Qu’ran’.

We need your help now! Can you tell us about a woman who inspires you and who can inspire others by being part of the Free To Be project? Let us know.

Keep up with the latest on Maslaha and Free To Be on twitter, tumblr and Facebook.

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