This year AMMWEC and its partner organization, New England Bangladeshi American Foundation, NEBAF, brought together an array of women and men to discuss domestic violence and mental health in the Greater Boston Muslim community. At a women’s networking luncheon, the executive team of NEBAF, put together a forum to discuss an issue that women face.
“Domestic violence affects all of us and we must all be a part of the solution,” said Anila Ali, president of AMMWEC speaking at the forum. The newly-elected Pakistani American member of Cambridge City Council, Burhan Azeem, also attended the event and thanked the organizations for highlighting such an important issue and offered his support to women.
Naheed Sitara, the founder and president of NEBAF, and a role model for Muslim women, has led a movement to empower women victims of domestic violence in her community. She has dedicated her entire life to serving women and encouraging them to shun victimhood and embrace empowerment. Naheed told her inspirational story of coming to America as a young, single woman and raising her children alone while going back to school. Tahira Ahmed Mitu, also an executive board member spoke of the importance of financial empowerment for women. Subrina Farah of NEBAF gave women tips about improving their financial literacy and encouraged them to seek help when needed. Farhana Khorshed also spoke to the audience.
“We must raise our girls like we raise our boys and ensure that we teach our boys respect for women,” said Ali. Anila congratulated Naheed Sitara on her latest achievement of the acquisition of a women’s shelter.
“This may be a shelter but it will be a home for women,” said Ali. After the event, NEBAF team took Ali on a tour of the women’s facility.
The group will be fundraising to get the shelter started and they look forward to support from the community.
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