As-salamu alaykum, may the peace of all be with you all.
I am grateful to have been included in the digital activism group for many reasons. I have a phobia of technology to the point where I get panic attacks around it, maybe it’s the way my brain works, however, the group was facilitated in a familiar and friendly environment which made me feel at ease.
The group was culturally and ethnically mixed and so as a Muslim woman I didn’t feel out of place. The facilitator was very patience and experienced with technology that made me feel confident in him and he always seems to have time for each question no matter how tedious or basic.
It was a great opportunity for networking. I am often quite isolated and this was a great opportunity to meet other Muslim women who were interested in self development and open to learning new skills, as well as men and women of other faiths and cultures.
We were also involved with London Citizens, which was a pleasant and inspiring event. We attended an assembly in Hammersmith Town Hall which pressured local public figures to act on issues like London Living Wage, destitution of asylum seekers, and street safety. I found their techniques of engaging with and petitioning significant public figures to be refreshing, uplifting, and powerful.
Because the course was made of people from different backgrounds and experiences, I was made much more aware of the situation of detainees through meeting the editor of Migrant Voice, Nasek Ramadan. Many of us-including migrant communities- were not aware of the situation detainees face and through the propaganda of the mainstream media I thought only suspected terrorists were being held in detention. I was shocked to watch the film in class about detainees that include children. Watching the film has made me want to get more involved with supporting these causes even in small way.
The technical aspects of the course gave me significantly more confidence in order to get more involved in social networking. But I think the added value of the course was its social conscience- what could have been boring or intimidating technical workshops were engaging and powerful because we knew we would be using these tools for our own important social justice work.
I have learned how to set up my own blog and am planning to set up another one. My first blog was the prototype and now I have learnt to upload film and set up a group pages on Facebook.
The reason I started Karimah’s Cuisina is to redefine the image of Muslim women by sharing posts, articles, photos, recipes, and stories relative to Islamic culture, but not limiting us to purely a domestic role, which is a common stereotype of Muslim women. We post articles on manners, herbal remedies, gender issues, and politics (local and national). Karimah’s Cuisina reached out internationally to men and women of different faiths and cultures, not just Muslims. And by sharing a dynamic perspective on Muslim culture has already broken the mould while sticking to Islamic values.
I am also more aware of the different types of people that use social networks. I now feel more in control of my online footprint and feel confident in editing and deleting my posts and others comments on my pages.
In 2011, I plan to set up another blog which will be more inclusive of comments and discussions. Karimah’s Cuisina will use the site to publicise charitable activities and events, as well as, health and well-being issues within Muslim culture. We hope to use this site as a tool to collaborate with others through interfaith activism in order to raise the standard of community events we shall be delivering, inshallah.
Karimah’s Cooking Club is on Facebook, please show some love and click our ‘Like‘ button!
[h4]My Advice to New Digital Activists[/h4]
Go and get some education- you can have all the technology in the world but you won’t know how to use it. Access the courses that are out there to use the technology to share the knowledge that you have!
This post is the second in our blog series about Digital Activism. You can read the first post here and the final post on Monday.
If you or anyone you work with are interested in attending MRCF’s next Digital Activism course, please contact Nick Micinski for additional information (email@example.com). This seven week training course takes place in London and is free. The deadline for application is January 27th.