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From the Director’s Chair: The Making of the Documentary Film Veiled Voices
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Add to Registry. Chicago P. Women across the Arab world are redefining their role as leaders in Islam. In director Brigid Maher's insightful documentary film, three influential women Islamic leaders are profiled-along with their families and the communities in which they serve. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information.
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See our disclaimer. I could suddenly shift my entire focus and just make a film about her. But would that provide a fair portrayal of Muslim women leaders?
Would I not be abandoning my original premise? What about my responsibility to the story as a whole? I chose to tell the original story. In Act One, I began with the personal journey of Ghina Hammoud, consciously playing into and engaging general audience expectations and stereotypes.
Hammoud divorced her husband after suffering years of domestic violence. The beginning of her story plays to stereotypes. The film then moves to the introduction of Dr.
Veiled Voices of Justice | Chapman Newsroom
She speaks about this openly on a television show, demonstrating that she has no trepidation about sharing her personal life as well as her scholarly opinions in a public setting. Huda al-Habash has had a public role as an educator in a mosque in Damascus and travels across the Middle East teaching.
In her introduction, I focus primarily on her husband, who takes over domestic duties when she teaches abroad. Act Two focuses on the public role women can play in Islam within institutions and as advisors to their students. That public role is not without challenges. Saleh wants to be a muftiya , a recognized religious scholar, but faced opposition in the al-Azhar Council, which voted against her petition to join. In contrast, the Grand Mufti in Syria has initiated a program to support women as muftiyas , and al-Habash has institutional support.
Hammoud takes a very open approach to how she teaches her students and sees her belief in Islam as a means to overcome her personal struggles. In an overall arc, we watch how Hammoud overcame her divorce and rose to become a very influential independent woman, how Dr. Saleh continues her work despite her public challenges, and how al-Habash succeeds by virtue of her support in her public and private worlds. The structure pulls apart the web of stereotypes the viewer may have and, at the same time, reveals the challenges that female leaders continue to face, thus providing a fair and careful representation of each woman.
The viewer may not agree with them, but at the same time cannot deny that they are in control of their fates, however problematic their obstacles. Five years after teaching in Lebanon, Veiled Voices was finished. It was released in Many thanks to our Sponsoring Members for their generous support of the Global Philadelphia Association.
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