Council of Ukrainian Muslims

«And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah, and be not divided among yourselv» (Quran, 3:103)

Suzanna Islyamova: “We Had To Obtain Self-Belief First Before Others Started Believing In Us”

10.01.2015 / 792

Ms. Suzanna Islyamova, Head of Women’s Social Organisation “Maryam”, had a business trip to Kuwait in the end of 2014, in order to present the organisation’s achievements for the past 20 years. A dramatic change in social and charitable initiatives of Ukrainian Muslim women is seen over these two decades. A small trickle of enthusiasts grew into a special committee that coordinates the work of Muslimahs’ social organisations all over Ukraine.

The presentation took place within the terms of  World Conference “Women’s Role In Charitable Work” affiliated to the Government of Kuwait, which helps in finding sponsors for women’s charitable initiatives. Women from other countries of Eastern Europe and some Arab countries participated as well.

They not just gave account of their work to the sponsors, but also shared their experience, exchanged ideas and advice, and made arrangements for joint projects.

When answering the question about the secret of their success, Ms.Islyamova said: “Muslim women weren’t actively involved in any charitable project at first, when ukraine only gained its Independence. We were all busy with our homes, our children, winning bread for the family in the time of crisis and looking for the commodities of the short supply. Being loaded like that we, of course, felt the need for some educational initiatives for women, for some joint cultural events, charitable projects, etc, where each of us could participate, but we ourselves considered it as some unliftable load. We had to obtain self-belief before others started believing in us.”

Besides, she stressed the importance of involving as many active women as possible: “Someone leaved for maternity, someone moved to another region with their family, someone starts a new project at work and has less free time, etc. — and all that leaves the organisation helpless and every loss is hard to make up if the new people don’t keep coming all the time and don’t share the current duties with the existing members.”

“Maryam”’s fruitful work was honoured with a special award.


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