c/o Ahlam Akram
83a Earl's Court Road
Basira is a not-for-profit British Arab initiative that cares for universal women's rights. It aims to raise awareness of issues facing Arab women all around the world, but focusing mainly on Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. We aim to help and empower women to take a leading role in democratic transitions in their home countries and work to secure their rights against unfair legal systems or unfair practices. Our mission is to highlight violations of women's rights through film screenings and discussions. In particular, we are against: underage marriage, domestic violence, unfair custody or unjust divorce for women, female genital mutilation (FGM) and honour killings. We also wish to breakdown the barriers of misunderstanding that can often stand in the way of better community cohesion between Arabs and their host cultures, beginning with Basira's members and core team who are all dually British and Arab women.
In order for us to create an open and friendly space for constructive discussion and debate, we utilise relevant and thought-provoking Arabic film screenings to reflect on the current social and political landscape in the MENA region and the challenges faced there by women. We also wish to hold other separate conferences to address the same issues, as well as an online campaign against unfair legal systems or unfair practices (as above). In the longer term, we would also like to produce documentaries, write articles and look for other ways to keep the relevant subjects in the spotlight.
We are based in the UK and hold our film screenings and other activities in London. We would like to partner with the ALF network and plan, organise and schedule events together, share our audiences and combine our efforts with similar initiatives within the network. We are also as passionate as the ALF about encouraging pluralism, cultural diversity, respect between societies, religions and beliefs, as well as to acknowledge the rule of law and fundamental freedoms.
We feel that BASIRA's work and objectives fit with the ALF's culture and arts ambit, as we are promoting the translation of artistic work and helping a wide foreign audience to access Arabic story-telling. We have a cross-cultural approach and are heavily proud of our British Arab identity, as we emphasise that integration within our host Western cultures can only enrich, elevate and strengthen our cause and our lives. We also encourage community support and cohesion with respect for each other, as we promote cross-cultural understanding with the aim of building an infrastructure for peace, dignity and human rights for everyone in the East and West.