By Ninder Kaur
The Muslim Women’s Council and Inspirational Women’s Foundation in partnership with Bradford Council are organising a Women’s Interfaith Iftar (breaking of fast during Ramadan at Sunset) in remembrance of the genocide that took place in Srebrenica, Bosnia in 1995. The event will take place on Saturday 11 July 2015 at Doha Mosque, adjacent to the main University of Bradford building from 7:30pm to 10:30pm.
In fact, 11 July marks the 20th anniversary where 8372 Muslim men and boys were massacred by Bosnian Serbs forces in July 1995 during this conflict, when the world failed Bosnia in its hour of need.
The programme will consist of spiritual reminders, sharing stories, spoken word poetry and guest speakers. Two women from Remembering Srebrenica, a Charity set up to raise awareness of the genocide, will be speaking about the family members that they lost.
Bana Gora, CEO of Muslim Women’s Council says “The purpose of the event is twofold, firstly to mark the 20th anniversary of a genocide that has taken place before our eyes and secondly to provide an opportunity for women from different backgrounds to come together to learn about the other.
The event aims to raise awareness of this part of European History where men and boys were taken to be shot en masse and buried in the most brutal manner. Thousands of women lost sons, husbands, fathers and brothers; some are still missing 20 years on. This event is a small step in giving these women a chance to share their stories and reconcile their traumatic experiences.”
Alina Khan, School Advisor, Diversity and Cohesion at Bradford Council added: ” Along with the charity Remembering Srebrenica, Bradford Council has co-ordinated delegated group visits to Bosnia to truly learn the lessons of this part of European history.”
“This week marks the launch of a number of memorial events that are being hosted by Bradford Council, and raising awareness in this way is part of a bigger programme that Diversity and Cohesion – Children’s Services are leading on for schools. Over the summer we are developing an exhibition about the atrocities that took place in Srebrenica that will accompany a peer education programme for schools.”
The exhibition will hosted by a number of secondary schools who will take part in the Stand up, Speak out, Make a Difference programme over the next academic year, where student ambassadors will be trained on the resource to guide other students from their own and partner schools around the exhibition. The programme aims to promote student voice whilst equipping young people with the necessary skills to engage in challenging discussion, by using the past to make a difference in the future.
Fatima Patel Founder of Inspirational Women’s Foundation said “At a time when we are experiencing and hearing horrific news of violence across the globe and locally this Iftar event is the perfect opportunity to unite and engage regardless of who you are and where you come from. We mustn’t allow what is going on in the rest of the world to divide us and such interfaith events are a great way to promote and action that. It will also be a great opportunity to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. Inspirational Women Foundation are proud to be supporting the event.”
Women from all backgrounds are invited to attend. Places can be booked by calling the Muslim Women’s Council on 01274 223230 or by emailing at email@example.com