Reflection by Heidi Soliman

Undoubtedly this is my experience where I was on a committee for finding a new mosque- the only female out of 7 of us. The experience in itself was staggering and I felt I could not actually contribute much of anything. There were both gender and cultural barriers. One of the problems I came across was going by myself to meet these guys- and how my husband, who is a very NON macho Arab guy understood the cultural background on gender for some of these gentleman & the implications it could mean. I finally didn't bother going. My previous Real Estate experience was not taken into account, nor was I even requested during the period of writing the contract once we found a space. Currently, the women's area is divided by large coat racks, where even if I could see the imam on the rare event such as Eid when I attend, I couldn't hear him anyway between the women and the children- despite the imam's attempts to ask them to be quiet. How on earth will I raise my daughters in this environment to LOVE islam and the men that represent it.

Heidi Soliman 

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