Recently, I attended this Spoken word event for King’s College London’s (KCL) Charity Week and I can honestly say it was one of the most empowering nights I have ever had. The atmosphere for the whole event was absolutely incredible. Everyone was extremely supportive of one another and helped bring each other up which was really lovely to see. This event was certainly a celebration of women, and it was organised by KCL’s Islamic society. I wanted to say a big thank you specifically to the amazing sister Amina Ali and all the other volunteers who helped put this event together.
Since the event was hosted by KCL’s Isoc (Islamic Society), it began with a beautiful Quran recitation by a first year English student, Aminah Agha Alonso. We then received a lovely islamic reminder by the head sister for Isoc Strand, Rufeida Alhatimy where she stressed the importance of this event and how each and everyone of us can be a superhero in our way by acting in the cause of charity. The event brought together so many young sisters from a range of nationalities, perspectives and personalities, all across each of the different campuses. Just the amount of sisters who came to the event was really impressive and overwhelming MashAllah! (we ran out of seats!) I really felt the connection of the Muslim ummah (community) and sisterhood. It was such a honour to be in the presence of such talented, eloquent and outspoken young Muslim women!
One special guest included none other than the famous poet and author, Suhaiymah Manzoor Khan (a.k.a thebrownhijabi) herself! Suhaiymah hit the nail on the head when she spoke about islamophobia, colonialism, race, gender and what it means to be ‘British.’ Check out her poem ‘Britain is Bismillah’ now.
She read a couple of her poems from her newly released book, ‘Postcolonial Banter’ which you can buy here.
Her poetry was really inspiring and her narrative was so powerful. The way she dealt with such difficult and complex issues was beautiful, MashAllah.
The overall theme of Charity Week was ‘Superheroes’ which was started up by Islamic Relief, and so the sisters had the challenge of responding to this creatively. We had a fantastic night of poems and even nasheeds, which covered a wide variety of topics from the experiences of being a Muslim in the West to intersectional feminism and global world conflicts. The metaphors and imagery included some powerful references from disney princesses, pop culture and the media.
I especially enjoyed the spoken word performance of Maryam Chowdhury (a.k.a onegirl.onemission),a poet, activist and Princess Diana award holder who you can follow here.Personally, her poem ‘A Modern Day Princess’ as well as ‘A Letter to My Daughter’ almost had me on the verge of tears.The more poems she read, the better they got. Listen to her poem ‘ A Modern Day Princess’ now and be sure to check out her youtube channel for more amazing content.
Asia Khatun wrote a really meaningful poem titled, ‘The Tree of Forty Fruit’, which emphasised the importance of giving charity and not being greedy.
Asia (a.k.a khatunofwords) commented on the day, “I am still in awe of the energy in the room last night; the sisterhood was truly present – with so many talented, multifaceted and unapologetically Muslim women sharing their incredible art.”
We also had a powerful verse from Jamilah (a.k.a jamilahspeaks) who spoke out against the injustice happening across the world, particularly the concentration camps set up against Ugihurs Muslims in China.
One of the most exciting aspects of the night were just how many KCL students were performing, particularly the freshers. Sadia Islam, a first year Pharmacy student, wrote a really sweet poem about how her Mother is her personal superhero and then sang the cutest nasheed ‘My Mother’ by Yusuf Islam with her lovely singing voice, MashAllah. Hana, a first year History student, sang the nasheed ‘Guide me all the way’ by Maher Zain beautifully, MashAllah – her voice is amazing! Nureeya Khan wrote a fantastic poem highlighting the dangers of islamophobia in relation to the Superhero in her own life, her dad. There were so many excellent performances that night and I was blown away by just how talented each and every sister was MashAllah!