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MFest in Photos and Tweets – A Weekend of Muslim Cultures and Ideas

by in Identity on 30th April, 2018

This weekend saw Mfest – a festival of Muslim cultures and idea which brought together hundreds of individuals for discussions and workshops at the British Library in London.

The event brought together a range of speakers which was also reflected by the fact that the audiences were made up of individuals from all walks of life. The question and answer sessions at the end of the panels made for insightful and engaging discussions, from asking ‘how can Muslims fight for the rights of all’ to ‘why we need an anthology just for Muslim women who wear the hijab’.

On Sunday, I visited 3 panels, I was spoilt for choice on where to go and ended up attending:

  • How to Drive Change: The Future of Muslim Activism with Asim Qureshi, Hareem Gani, Dr. Narzanin Massoumi and chaired by Malia Bouattia
  • Mostly Lit Live: The well-known podcast with Rai, AlexReads, and Derek Owusu as they discussed the intersection between literature and pop-culture
  • Women and Power: Islam and Evolving Feminisms with Sabeena Akhtar and contributors Dr. Myriam Francois and Hodan Yusuf. Chaired by journalist Remona Aly.

MFest – How to Drive Change: The Future of Muslim Activism

Women and Power: Islam and Evolving Feminisms, without doubt, drew in one of the largest crowds of the weekend. The auditorium was packed and it was no wonder with such an incredible line up of women.

Hodan Yusuf – Women and Power Mfest

The conversation navigated how feminism has become an F-word, unpacked why many Muslim women feel as though feminism is needed and how often mainstream feminism movements had been exclusionary. Hodan Yusuf spoke about what voice we use when speaking or writing, is it one to explain ourselves or express ourselves? The conversation was not one to miss, we live-tweeted some golden nuggets:

How to Drive Change: The Future of Muslim Activism with Asim Qureshi, Hareem Gani, Dr. Narzanin Massoumi and chaired by Malia Bouattia

The discussion spoke about the role of the state in Islamophobia, how Muslims have been disproportionately targeted in higher education, as well the role of Muslim organisations. And of course there were plenty of jokes and sarcasm about Prevent for good measure.

MFest – How to Drive Change: The Future of Muslim Activism

MFest – How to Drive Change: The Future of Muslim Activism

MFest – How to Drive Change: The Future of Muslim Activism

MFest – How to Drive Change: The Future of Muslim Activism

Mostly Lit Live strengthened the love I have for Raifa, the live show was funny, engaging, enlightening and educational all at once. Raifa definitely needs to have her own chat show, Oprah move over. The show discussed A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, if you’re trying to up your reading game – tune into their podcast!

MFest – Mostly Lit Live

MFest – Mostly Lit Live

MFest – Mostly Lit Live

MFest – Women and Power

MFest – Women and Power

MFest – Women and Power

MFest – Women and Power

MFest – Women and Power

MFest – Women and Power


MFest – Women and Power

MFest – Women and Power

When MFest comes around again, I couldn’t recommend it enough as a weekend of engaging discussion and a real space to nurture thought.

Nafisa Bakkar

Nafisa Bakkar

Co-founder and CEO at Amaliah