My Sahiyo U.S. Activists Retreat Reflection

By Maryah Haidery Growing up as a member of the Dawoodi Bohra Community in the United States is a challenging experience, especially for women. It’s like precariously walking across a tightrope while trying to balance two vastly different worlds. In one world, there are the positive benefits that come from belonging to a community rich …

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Sahiyo U.S. Activists Retreat: A Reflection

By Zehra Patwa, WeSpeakOut Retreat [ri-treet]: a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction. When I initially signed up for Sahiyo’s retreat for Bohra anti-FGC activists in the US, I thought it would be a good opportunity to network, share ideas, and develop strategies.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the incredibly …

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Shifting terrains: Lessons learnt from the first U.S. Activists Retreat for Bohras against Female Genital Cutting

(This post was originally published on the blog of Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, the Berkley Forum) By Mariya Taher, MSW, MFA In this day and age when social media has penetrated our lives, 24-hour news cycles shape our worldviews, and there is never enough time to process the influx of …

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My experience at Sahiyo’s first activists’ retreat in India

by Chandni Shiyal Sahiyo administrative assistant One day before Sahiyo’s first activists’ training retreat for Bohras held in February in Mumbai, I was a bit nervous about how it would pan out in terms of arrangement and its overall functioning. But at the same time, I was excited to meet many of the new participants …

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Sahiyo’s Second Annual Retreat: A Space for Healing and Reflection

By Maryum Saifee In late March, I participated in Sahiyo’s Second Annual Retreat for survivors and allies in the campaign to end female genital mutilation (FGM). Attendees from the first retreat commented on how the program had more than doubled in size to over 20 this year. As an FGM survivor who reluctantly stumbled into …

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Why I care about khatna: Reflections from the 2019 Sahiyo Activist Retreat

By Alisha Bhagat I first found out about female genital cutting, or khatna, in my community in my twenties; my mother told me it had been done to her. At the time I was shocked. I thought this was something that happened to other people in far off places, not to my mom or Nani …

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Sahiyo USA’s Second Annual Activist Retreat: A recap

To learn more about the activists retreat, read the summary report.  In March 2019, Sahiyo U.S. hosted our second annual activist retreat for women connected to the Bohra community who are concerned about the issue of FGC within the community. Sahiyo understands it takes many to bring about social change, and as a result, we …

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My inner healing at Sahiyo’s Activist Retreat in the U.S.

By Anonymous Country: United States Age: 34 To be honest, it was hard for me to make the decision to go to the Sahiyo Activist Retreat earlier this year. I grew up in the Dawoodi Bohra community in India, and having had my share of challenges with the community that involved threats to my family, …

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The U.S. Sahiyo retreat taught me there are different ways of being Bohri in America, and we can all end FGC

By Alisha Bhagat Khatna, and Female Genital Cutting (FGC) evoke strong responses. It is seen as a human rights violation, is attributed to the “backwardness” of Islamic peoples, and is a critical part of cultural heritage. For those of us within the Bohra community, our feelings are generally much more complicated. Even for those of …

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I attended the U.S. Bohra Activist Retreat because I hope to see an end to FGM/C in my lifetime

By Rashida Rangwala The practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in the Bohra community has been a secret and taboo subject for generations. Even today with the education, media and public stories from the survivors who have undergone FGC, the Bohra community truly believes that the practice of FGC on 7-year-old girls is a religious …

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