The Nazda Alam Foundation for Muslim Women Civic Engagement & Leadership is an initiative to support Muslim women’s participation locally and globally in social and political processes. The mission of this foundation is to foster positive intervention to support the rights and privileges of Muslim women. The Nazda Alam Foundation will also focus on supporting Muslim women in their daily lives, providing resources to improve their social, economic, and political status, connecting them with the greater community and helping Muslim women achieve leadership roles.
Islam is the world’s second-largest religion, with 1.8 billion followers worldwide. There are approximately 3 million Muslims in the United States and half of this group are women. Although they have different backgrounds, interests, and educational levels, Muslim women are united in their core beliefs. In Massachusetts, Muslim women include homemakers, domestic and childcare workers, cashiers, small business owners, teachers, physicians, nurses, and research scientists. Despite this, Muslim women have too often given up their identity as independent women and allowed themselves to be identified as only Muslim by the population as a whole which is mainly Christian and Jewish. To many, Muslim women may seem foreign in dress and religious observance. The Nazda Alam Foundation will be developing and funding projects that will change this—providing resources to introduce Muslim women to each other, the country and the world.
In addition, many Muslim women are not aware of the opportunities available to them, and are not involved in the political process. Few Muslim women run for office. As a result, the impact of Muslim women in their communities, state and country is not yet as significant as it could be. In addition, when Muslim woman are subject to subtle and overt acts of prejudice in the MA, United Sates and the world, their stories are hidden– and they may not know how to get the support they need.
The Goals of the Nazda Alam Foundation are:
- To encourage social and political engagement by Muslim women in the U.S and around the world.
- To provide a voice with which Muslim women can influence a local, national and international arena in conjunction with other human rights organizations.
- To encourage Muslim women’s leadership and civic engagement.
- To create a non-violent environment in the USA and around the world in which Muslim women can exchange cultural and economic ideas foster freedom of speech.
- To foster Muslim-American women’s engagement in the democratic process on the local and national levels.
- To create a bond between Muslim women and their non-Muslim neighbors.
The Foundation has to date developed two documentary videos which capture the tragedy and plight of Rohingya women in Myanmar and then as refugees in Bangladesh.
(1) Rohingya: Atrocities Against Women has been shown informally in colleges, civic gatherings and local communities, to educate others on these crises and to elicit support for the work of refugee agencies and the Foundation.
(2) Rohingya Plight of the Children is in progress and will focus on the plight of the children born of these circumstances.
Nazda Alam interviewed by WGBH Greater Boston’s Jim Braude regarding Rohingya – Atrocities Against Women
Nazda Alam interviewed by The MetroWest Daily News regarding Rohingya – Atrocities Against Women