Jewish and Muslim woman come together for 'friendship and support'

Anna Hussain, Lindy Diamond, Ahmereen Reza and Laura Marks prepare for the conference with homemade samosas

Anna Hussain, Lindy Diamond, Ahmereen Reza and Laura Marks prepare for the conference with homemade samosas - Credit: Yakir Zur

Jewish and Muslim women from Hampstead, Highgate and Camden joined together to attend Nisa-Nashim's annual conference.

The national network brings Jewish and Muslim women together, and speakers at its conference on Sunday – including Wealden MP Nusrat Ghani and Ruth Smeeth – emphasised the disproportionate effect on women of the world’s current crises.

Addressing more than 100 Jewish and Muslim women at the conference, which was held online with the theme "Navigating Crisis", Ms Ghani asserted that that “women are the collateral damage”, citing the plight of Afghani, Uyghur and now Ukrainian women who are subject to horrific, gender specific persecution.

Ms Ghani spoke of Daesh, the Chinese government and Vladimir Putin’s regime, all of which have targeted her directly, as examples of the greatest threats of today – the rise of tyrannical regimes and the lack of confidence of Western liberal democracies.

Taking up the theme, former MP and chief executive of Index on Censorship, Ruth Smeeth focussed on the crisis of people without a voice in repressive regimes. She urged the “strong and gobby” Nisa-Nashim women to engage with the issues and drive change.

The conference is the largest of its kind in Europe and was the idea of Nisa-Nashim co-founder and acting chief executive Laura Marks , who lives in Primrose Hill.

In Nisa-Nashim traditional style, alongside the serious discussions was a chance for participants to laugh, chat and play games.

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Laura said: “The world may be in crisis but one thing we heard again and again at our conference is that we are in this together. Friendship and supporting one another is no longer optional, it is the only way forward.”

Other notable speakers at the even were Tamara Finkelstein, permanent secretary at DEFRA and Dr Husna Ahmad, chief executive of Global One.

Nisa-Nashim aims to inspire and lead social change. It encourages positive experiences for, and understanding about, people from different backgrounds – particularly Jews and Muslims – promoting social cohesion.

The organisation has previously held events including rallies at Hampstead Heath.