Conf­erence weaves threads of Arab woman­hood


The wounds of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attacks are still fresh, especially for Muslim women trying to overcome stereotypes that highjacked the minds of most Americans.

A panel of Muslim women discussed the difficultly of living in a society with misconceived notions of Islam at an event hosted by the League of Women Voters of Oakland on Wednesday.

Samina Sundas spoke to the group about how the lives of American Muslims changed forever on Sept. 11:

“Before 9/11 we were an invisible minority, quite a silent group. 9/11 created much fear for Muslims.”

Sundas, founder and executive director of American Muslim Voice Foundation, works to bridge the cultural and religious gap between all Americans, according to the group’s website.

Aisha Wahab, of the Alameda County Human Relations Commission and Health Commission, also spoke about how the terrorists attacks impacted her life:

“I was being judged for something I didn’t even understand myself. It confused me and what I didn’t like is how Islam and Muslims were constantly referred to as ‘terrorists’ in the media.”

The Arab Cultural and Community Center of San Francisco will expand on this conversation with its 6th annual Arab Women’s Conference Saturday.

This year’s conference, titled “Weaving with New Threads: Diverse Visions for Arab Womanhood” will focus on similar themes. According to their website, the conference is a day of learning, conversation and discourse:

“This year, panelists and performers from across the world will present on such topics as how Arab women move beyond colonial, orientalist, and Arab nationalist definitions of Arab womanhood; how to recognize diversity and challenge racism and ethnocentricism across the Arab world and diaspora; and how to lead more holistically healthy lives.”

The 6th Annual Arab Women’s Conference will be held at San Francisco’s Main Library tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here to learn more and register.

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