Interculturality in Action: First Cultural Event of MEET Project in France

The MEET project started in October 2019 with the aim to question how and where we can be able to fight discrimination against Muslim women and girls.

Talking about Islam and Islamophobia is not easy in a secular country like France. Confusions and misinterpretations of what secularism is sometimes create situations of rejection of religions including Islam but not only.
Secularism is the right and freedom of conscience guaranteed by law, as long as they remain in the private domain.

Talking about discrimination against Muslim women does not mean sending Muslim women back to the veil, which remains a hot subject. This is obviously the subject that everyone is addressing, but we must not loose sight of the bigger picture. Muslim women are not a monolithic block!

MEET also means talking about Muslim women who do not wear a veil and are discriminated because they are identified or categorized as Muslims, even without any visible external religious sign.

Islam questions, disturbs and frightens, as is often the case with unknown or misunderstood things.

In order to promote this knowledge and understanding, each of the partners has the mission to set up sports, gastronomic or cultural activities to initiate times that bring a support to intercultural discussion.

Pistes Solidaires launched the first of them on Friday the 3rd July 2020 with the Centre Social de la Pépinière in Pau. Meeting, spending a pleasant moment and sharing were the three main lines of “Interculturality in Action“.

The day started with a shared cooking workshop where several recipes were made. 20 people were divided into several work teams to prepare the evening’s aperitif: A world cuisine bringing together the two shores of the Mediterranean between Moroccan briks and Italian pizzas, Spanish gazpacho and Libyan makrout.

The intercultural afternoon continued with a workshop on intercultural and interreligious dialogue led by a Senegalese anthropologist, storyteller and musician, Cheikh Sow, who led the workshop participants to express their point of view on the theme but especially on their own experiences. The truly diverse and varied audience exchanged a lot in respect of the other and the diversity of points of view, which echoed the fundamental value of MEET: Living together and with others.
In the evening, more than 40 people took part in a film-debate on the film “Ramdam” by Zangro, a light-hearted comedy which reflects several themes related to our event: culture of origins and host culture, divergent views on immigration, Islam, diversity and integration in France.

And to end this day in style, the participants to the event shared a convivial moment around the buffet prepared beforehand.

Stay tuned for more events that are going take place between now and the end of summer 2020!