International Women’s Forum “Harmony and Development” brings together more than one hundred participants

На Міжнародний жіночий форум «Гармонія і розвиток» в Києві зібралося більше ста учасниць зі всієї країни.On October 30, the International Women’s Forum, organized by Ukrainian Muslimahs’ League, took place. It brought together government officials, heads of public organizations, and volunteers from all over the country.  The event was supposed to inspire, motivate and fill women volunteers with energy for active work in different Ukrainian cities.

 

“It’s been so long since we’ve gathered like that – it’s a great happiness that everything worked out. I hope this inspiration will last for a long time ”, – participant Angela shares her impressions.

 

На Міжнародний жіночий форум «Гармонія і розвиток» в Києві зібралося більше ста учасниць зі всієї країни.The forum was attended by Ukrainian Muslimahs  who succeeded despite all the problems and stereotypes in the society. The speakers were also successful sisters from other countries, such as Great Britain, Kuwait, and Indonesia, who work in the public sector.

 

The chief specialists of the department of cooperation with religious communities of the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience Vyacheslav Gorshkov and Victoria Kochubei also came to support Muslim women.

 

На Міжнародний жіночий форум «Гармонія і розвиток» в Києві зібралося більше ста учасниць зі всієї країни.The head of the Dana Volunteer Association from Kuwait Manal Al Musallam talked about how to love volunteering and not get tired of what you do. Anife Kurtseitova, a head of the public organization “Crimean Family”, inspired the participants by telling the story of the creation of a children’s school, where they work for the sake of preserving the culture and traditions of the Crimean Tatars. Gayana Yuksel, a member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people,  recalled Crimean women who were left without men, and how difficult it is for them to carry the weight of upbringing and providing children with everything they need. The participants could take out something interesting and useful from each presentation.

 

International Women's Forum "Harmony and Development" brings together more than one hundred participants“In our society, when a Muslim woman faces misunderstanding and prejudice against herself every day, it can be difficult for her to set high goals. Often, fear prevents them from believing  that something can work out, and everything remains in dreams. At the forum speakers help women, first of all, to believe in themselves and that everything is possible, and there is always a way out of any problem. They themselves and their achievements are wonderful examples and an important experience for each of us, – says the chairman of the UML Niyara Mamutova.

 

На Міжнародний жіночий форум «Гармонія і розвиток» в Києві зібралося більше ста учасниць зі всієї країни.The forum was held in a mixed format, that is, some of the presentations were live, and some were online.

 

Also as part of the event, there were photo exhibitions “Dad in the Family” and “Hijab Is My Choice”, as well as a fair of handicrafts from Ukrainian craftswomen, where you could buy toys, eco-bags and other goods. All money raised will go to the treatment of children with cancer.International Women's Forum "Harmony and Development" brings together more than one hundred participants

“It’s a pity that only 10 days — if only it had been three weeks and two shifts!” — camp Friendship ends

The League of Muslimahs of Ukraine (LMU) with the assistance from the All-Ukrainian Association “Alraid” has organized a summer health camp for young Islam followers for years, choosing for this the most picturesque places of our country. It should be noted that the camp is not only health-improving, but also educational, as children and teenagers have the opportunity to improve their knowledge of religion, their ability to read the Quran according to Tajweed rules, etc.

 

This year, the inhabitants of the “Friendship” camp enjoyed the nature of the Ternopil Region for ten days, went on hikes, spent time by the fire in the evenings listening to the stories of their mentors, splashed in the pool in the afternoons, and learned handicrafts at arts and crafts master classes.

 

Olha Fryndak, deputy head of the LMU, said that this year more than 70 young Muslims took the opportunity to relax with profit to their soul, spirit and body:

 

— We rested in the Buchach District of the Ternopil Region. The camp was located at one of the tourist centers in a very beautiful and picturesque place, in the forest. A record number of children and teenagers arrived this year, which is 73 kids. There were much more people willing to come, but the campsite could provide comfortable accommodation for only that number of children. So next year we will think about how to provide all comers with useful and informative rest in the “Friendship” camp. We took care not only of comfortable accommodation of children, but also of halal meals and intense program. As always, the children were accompanied not only by the teachers. The obligatory presence of a doctor guaranteed not only daily, but every minute monitoring of the health and physical condition of each child. And the mentors took care of the mental and spiritual part, giving lessons and talks on the moral and ethical foundations of Islam, relationships in the family and with people around, what is important in our life, and what goals we should set for ourselves. There were also Quran and Arabic lessons. This time, there were 30 girls and 43 boys. Some classes were held separately, for example, swimming, and some master classes, that were supposed to be visited only by girls, also interested boys, and they were happy to learn how to make bracelets and snoods for their mothers and sisters, and such attention and care to their loved ones cannot but please us.

 

They also had enough activities together: exercises, gatherings around the evening fire, sports activities. Competitions were held almost daily: archery and crossbow shooting, javelin throwing, rope climbing, complex relay races in the OCR style (Obstacle Course Race – a sport in which a participant passes a route with various obstacles – Ed.), which one of the camp teachers, Tariq Sarhan, decided to organize for children, as a regular participant in Spartan Race Ukraine and DYKA GONKA. The winners received prizes: for the first place — a real bow, the second — T-shirts with the camp symbols. Commemorative symbolic prizes for third place were also given. There was a time for paintball, volleyball, and football …

 

— In addition to the lessons, conversations, masterclasses, exercise, and sports, the daily program included team training and games. And, of course, prayers were not missed. There was also free time for reading books and playing board games, there were a lot of them, both strategic and checkers-chess. We also had a tour program, went to the Silver waterfalls. We can say it was a hike with obstacles: the children had to overcome both ups and downs, and rather difficult paths. Furthermore, we were climbing up to the waterfalls for about an hour, but it was worth it: this is a very picturesque place, a whole cascade of really silvery streams. There was also a bus tour during which the children visited the Crystal Cave, one of the many places which the Ternopil Region is famous for. We chose it because it was convenient to visit with the groups of children and teenagers, — Olha Fryndak says.

 

When it was time to say goodbye to the camp, many children could hardly hold back their tears, because the busy days passed so quickly, so they did not want to part with their new friends!

 

The parents of young vacationers were also satisfied with the organization of the rest. This is evidenced by the feedback and thanks in the parent chat. Here are just a few of them:

 

“… Many parental thanks to the organizers and counselors of the camp! D. liked it very much, he already misses everyone! Thank you! “

 

«I join all the abovementioned. I would also like to thank you for your patience and approach to children! So many children and everyone is so different! If the number of children increases next year, then we can definitely make two shifts! “

 

“I don’t believe it was over so quickly! I met my R.: he grew up, and somehow began to think differently (correctly) … He said he liked everything very much. And Tariq just became an example to follow! “

 

“Once again, thank you all very much for your work, your attitude, your enthusiasm, your talents, knowledge, and skills! And for sincerely sharing all this with our children! “

 

“Thank you very much, the camp was just super! It was very cool, thank you for the rest, and thank you for teaching me how to read the Quran correctly! Many thanks!”

 

“Assalyamu alaikum! Many thanks to the organizers of the camp, counselors. The children were very happy, so were the parents. Memories will last for a whole year. “

 

“Thanks to everyone! We are very grateful for the excellent organization of the camp! It is a pity that only 10 days – if only it had been three weeks and two shifts! Inshaallah, we will meet again next year!

 

“Assalam alaikum! Big, huge thanks to everyone! The children arrived happy and contented. They do not want to unpack their suitcases — they are leaving them for next summer, already ready to go. Just in case, we are with you and only with you! “

 

“Team, I wish you a good vacation, health, and strength recovery. We love you very much!”

 

“Endless gratitude to everyone who organized and took part in these happy holidays for children! You haven’t even left all the parents indifferent. In the chat, we were jealous in a good way and rejoiced at how the children were interested and warm-hearted with you. May the Almighty bless you for your work and attention!”

The head of “Maryam” NGO receives a reward “Kyivite of the Year”

Elena Mironenko, the head of the social organization “Maryam”, has received one of the awards of the city competition “Kyivite of the Year”. The award ceremony took place at the Museum of History and the winners in different nominations received awards from Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko.

 

“Today we traditionally award our women. The women who have realized themselves and done a lot of important and useful things for our city and its inhabitants,” – says the Mayor.

 

13 Kyiv women of different professions have received the awards. Among them, there are human rights defenders, crisis managers, public figures, as well as those who are involved in charity work.

 

Elena Mironenko has received a diploma and an award, becoming the winner in the “Charity” nomination.

 

“I am just a part of our big family. And it pleases me that our organization was noticed and noted at the city level. It is certainly difficult for us to evaluate our work because no matter how much we have done, it seems that we could have done more. But to receive such an award from the hands of the Mayor is evidence that our activities bring benefit to society. “

 

It is worth reminding that last year the organization “Maryam” held a number of charity events, including those aimed at combating the pandemic. For example, activists of the organization made and distributed thousands of reusable masks.  Moreover, after the opening of the Center for Gender Equality, Prevention and Counteraction to Violence in Kyiv, “Maryam”  regularly provides it with food and basic necessities. The activists of the organization also participated in providing assistance to hospitals and other medical institutions, orphanages, families of internally displaced persons, and low-income people. All this work was noted by the city authorities and the Kyiv community.

Hijab Day’s a good reason to present headscarves

День хіджабу — прекрасна нагода дарувати хустки

Activists of Ukrainian Muslimahs’ League (UML) held an event in the heart of Kyiv on the occasion of World Hijab Day. Nazma Khan, an American Bengali, founded the event several years ago. Since then, millions of women around the world celebrate this day every year.

 

On February 1, UML activists held a photo exhibition about successful Muslim women.

 

“First of all, we have launched this initiative to show the people that it is Muslim woman’s personal preference of wearing a headscarf,” says Olena Myronenko, one of the event launchers.

 

In addition to the exhibition, the activists held a workshop on tying the scarf on the head. They offered the passers―-by to try on a hijab and take a photo in a new look. Olena Myronenko said the idea was women who decided to try on the hijab could feel like Muslims at least for a while. And despite the frosty weather there were a lot of those wanted to see how they looked like in hijab.

 

“It’s sensible and pleasant,” admits Maryna, one of participants in out of the box event held by Muslimahs. — But it’s more than that. I have always wondered how Muslim women tied the headscarf so beautifully. And now I know that there are some secrets. Besides, covering hair is correct both according Muslims and Christianity beliefs.

 

Another event participant, Olha, has put on a hijab for the first time. She smiles while setting the headscarf:

 

“I really like it,” the girl says, looking at herself in the mirror. “Firstly, it is very comfortable, and secondly, it is warm, my ears are fine. I would even go around outside like that. I think hijab is also comfortable in summer.

 

These and similar reviews prevailed among women who took part in the event held by Ukrainian Muslimahs’ League. In activists’ opinion it only went to show that such events were urgently needed:

 

“This gives us an opportunity to break certain stereotypes about Muslim women,” says Suzanna Islyamova, UML activist. “In addition, we once again emphasized that the hijab is primarily of spiritual significance. This is not just part of Muslim woman’s’ appearance.

 

Let us recall, that in the next two weeks, Ukrainian Muslimahs’ League are to hold Hijab Days in several other cities of Ukraine.

Current problems discussion, new skills and meetings

Ліга мусульманок України провела семінар з особистісного зростання

In the last days of 2020, Ukrainian Muslimahs’ League (UML) held the personal growth training for teenage girls in Kyiv.

 

Ліга мусульманок України провела семінар з особистісного зростання“We have long understood that Muslim girls, especially teenagers, need such trainings,” says Olha Fryndak, UML deputy head. “Such events let us reach several goals at once. First, teenage girls from different cities of Ukraine have the opportunity to meet each other; secondly, we are scrupulous about the educational part of the seminar, teach the girls with certain practical skills; thirdly, we organize their joint recreational activities, encourage a teamwork feeling.

 

The training brought together 35 young Muslimahs from Odesa, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Kyiv and Kyiv oblast. Due to quarantine restrictions, participants from several other cities couldn’t come. UML used to hold the trainings on personal growth twice a year, but this year there was no such opportunity.

 

Ліга мусульманок України провела семінар з особистісного зростання “Therefore, we decided to expand the training program to three days,” says Olha Fryndak, “so that we could share more information with our teenagers and make more time together. In addition, we were to give them a tour on the third day”.

 

The schedule was very busy indeed. Sheikh Haider al-Haj, a Hafiz from Kyiv ICC, taught the lesson on Muslims’ moral and ethical values. The lesson was based on the example of Maryam, prophet Isa’s mother (peace be upon him).

 

Sheikh Tariq Sarkhan’s lecture focused on the proof of God’s existence. The way the lecturer presented the information was out-of-the-box: Sheikh Tariq suggested thinking about the answer to the question: “If the Almighty is the Creator, then who has created Him?” A part of his speech was devoted to the peculiarities of the inviting to Islam in our day.

 

Vira Fryndak, the first Ukrainian hafizah among women, had a talk about the Quran with the seminar participants, and gave several tutorials on the Holy Book studying.Ліга мусульманок України провела семінар з особистісного зростання

 

There was also a workshop for girls on the basic graphic design principles. Marharyta Bodretska, the tutor, talked about the design basics, free applications to help you start learning this field, showed examples of how to choose the styles properly, what tools to use when creating pictures and graphic presentations.

 

“Within such trainings, we usually raise some hot issues that bother teenagers. We are trying to talk it over with them, help them confide in and find a solution together. This is very important when you are a teenager,” says Olha Fryndak. “In previous years, we came up with different formats, involved specialists, psychologists. This year we decided to hold some kind of informal discussions “Between us girls.”

 

Anastasia Radovelyuk, the Master of Sharia Law, was the main moderator of the informal conversation. The key topic was haram and halal: the participants discussed the issues of allowed or forbidden things, welcomed or undesirable according to Sharia. First of all, of course, they touched upon the issues the teenage girls regularly face as they grow up.

 

The participants not only shared their thoughts, but also held debates. Divided into two teams, they tried to defend opposing points of view on the topics raised: about the fascination with social networks, negative developments among the youth, including drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking, etc.

 

The last day was about useful and educational activities. The girls visited Kyiv Museum of Science. During their two hours tour, they went on a quest which the museum guides had prepared especially for them, then went through the halls and explored by their own the exhibits with audio and video stories.

 

According to Olga Fryndak, up to 50 participants used to come to these trainings from all over the country in previous years:

 

 “Of course, this year the quarantine forced us to adjust our plans. Nevertheless, we are pleased to have held this training, because online cannot replace live communication itself. Talking eye to eye with these girls is important for us, likewise seeing and hearing us in the same way are important for them.”

 

The participants confirm the words of the organizers by saying that the seminar has given them an opportunity to discuss the issues they were worried about, and has become a good round up of the “lockdown” year.

First Edition of Children’s Book “Muhammad and You” Is Printed!

дитяча книга Мухаммад і ти

Ukrainian Muslimahs League is happy to announce that freshly printed copies  the first-ever Ukrainian children’s book about Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, came from the publisher! It’s emblematic that the publication is to be printed in the Month of Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings be upon him) birth.

 

This illustrated edition is meant for free distribution at RAMU Ummah mosques. Author of the book, Ms.Alina Martynova, is well-known to many of you as the author of the children’s stories published in “Arraid” newspaper. Her family, originally from Donbas, became Internally displaced persons now residing in Lviv, and volunteering in her free time.

 

The idea of the book first came out two years ago. Having discussed it with the Head of the UML, Ms.Martynova got to work, and in 6 months the text was ready. The book tells the story of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, in a way that makes it interesting for children of elementary-school age, explaining who the prophet had been as a person and as a Messenger of God, and why he had become the great example to follow for every generation of Muslims.

 

дитMs.Tetiana Yushyna, an illustrator, read the text and was excited by its simplicity and clarity, so she made her input in the cause and did the illustrations.

 

By the way, it’s e-book version will be for free download as well, so that little Ukrainian-speaking Muslims from all over the world can get a copy!

The Lower The Temperature, The More People Come: Zaporizhzhia Muslimahs Keep Feeding Hot Meals To Needy People

Що нижча температура, то більше людей: мусульманки Запоріжжя годують гарячими обідами знедолених

Every Saturday at about noon needy people start gathering near the Zaporizhzhia II Railway Station Park. They know that at 12:30 Muslimahs from WO “Safya” are coming, and are willing to extend a helping hand in unloading and carrying the heavy bags to the distribution site. Having done their part, they get in line and wait patiently.



The Lower The Temperature, The More People Come: Zaporizhzhia Muslimahs Keep Feeding Hot Meals To Needy PeopleSome salad, rice with chicken, chicken stew, bread, tea and cookies make a banquet for both the homeless and the “homely” folks who struggle to make ends meet; whose income is hardly enough to cover the utility bills, the simplest medications and bare minimum of the cheapest staple food (mostly grains).



The volunteers thank everyone who supports the initiative either personally or financially, for every small donation allows them to feed several people more.



The volunteers noticed a certain correlation: the lower the temperature outside, the more people come for a hot meal. The prime cost of one portion is ridiculously low, just UAH 30. What can be served for that money? Considering that the volunteers don’t include the value of their own time, labour and consumables (like fuel) in the prime cost, just the food, there’s a full meal served for each person: a bowl of soup or borscht; a platter of pilaw, buckwheat or cooked whole grains; a piece of meat or chicken; a slice of bread, cookies, a sandwich and a cup of tea. Sometimes they even manage to treat their clients with fruit.

“Ready for School!”: SO “Maryam” Helps Poor Families With Schoolchildren

«До школи готовий!»: ЖО «Мар’ям» допомагає малозабезпеченим родинам школярів

“Ready for School!”: SO “Maryam” Helps Poor Families With SchoolchildrenOn 28 August, volunteers of Women’s Social Organisation “Maryam” distributed school supplies they’d bought in terms of a charitable benefit “Ready for School!”. Joint efforts of many people resulted in helping needy families from Kyiv, Zhovti Vody, Yahotyn, Sumy, and Zaporizhzhia, significantly easing their financial burden for three years in a row. Most of such aid is directed to grade-schoolers.

This year, unindifferent people once again didn’t let those families down. One good-doer bought 45 schoolbags and spent another UAH 5,000 on office supplies; another brought UAH 2,000; another UAH 4,000 were donated by many to the charity’s special bank account; someone from Rivne city sent a large box of office supplies — not to mention many people who also bought the office supplies they could afford and personally brought them to Kyiv ICC when attending the mosque.

“Ready for School!”: SO “Maryam” Helps Poor Families With SchoolchildrenSchool bags filled with everything necessary have found their owners. We wish glorious academic records for the schoolchildren, and God’s many blessings for the good-doers!

Volunteering, Career Achievements, Fashion Shows and Henna Night: Hijab Day in Vinnytsia, Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia

Last weekend, Ukrainian Islamic Cultural Centres through the combined effort of Ukrainian Muslimahs League wrapped up the World Hijab day with final themed events. “Bright”, “interesting” and “momentous” are only a few of titles generously posted by guests of those events on social media, along with their headscarf-clad photos.

Muslimahs in Vinnytsia held their Hijab Day on Saturday, 8 February. They dispelled stereotypes about “Muslimahs imprisoned in their homes and kitchens” by telling, in particular, about their own volunteering projects and holding a fashion show by Vinnytsia Muslim designer Nafisa Roziyeva. They also did headscarf styling for everyone interested, and treated the gathering with tea and sweets. To wrap up the ladies’ party, they invited some men to perform a traditional Arab dance for them.

 

 

In Dnipro, Hijab Day was held on 9 February by the local women’s organisation “Blagodiya”. They also started with dispelling stereotypes that headscarf is for sure a means of oppression, and that a Musimah is only capable of unqualified work (in case she does have a job). They spoke about successful Muslimahs from all walks of life, as well as of the religious background that makes modest clothing important for those women. The organizers also did a fashion show, demonstrating modest clothes of different styles, some with references to different ethnic backgrounds, and did a workshop on styling kerchiefs and headscarves. Besides treats, the guests were offered to participate in a quiz and win some presents.

 

 

Zaporizhzhia Muslimahs also held their Hijab Day on 9 February. They also spoke about the stereotypes and the importance of the concept of hijab (modest clothing) for female followers of Islam; mentioned successful Muslimahs; recalled some Ukrainian traditional headdress and different ways of its styling. Besides, this year’s kicker was a performance recreating Henna Night, a Crimean Tatar bridal shower. According to one of the organizers, Ms.Niyara Mamutova, that was their natural way to develop the last year’s topic of wedding traditions of different regions of Ukraine (then represented by a ceremony of tying a kerchief over the newlywed woman’s head during the wedding party. This time the guests learned about the wedding arrangements of Crimean Tatars: how the presents are delivered, how the bride is dressed while everyone is singing and telling stories, how the bride’s arms are decorated with henna patterns and how she and her future mother-in-law greet each other in order to show their mutual respect. And, of course, treats were available not only for the performers of the Henna Night, but for the guests as well: tea, coffee and sweets were offered to everyone.

“I love Mary, mother of Jesus, because I am a Muslimah”

On September 15, the volunteers from the Maryam Women’s Organisation held an educational event “I Love Mary, Mother of Jesus, Because I’m Muslimah.” The project was also supported by Tariq Sarhan, a representative of Mercy for Mankind international initiative. It should be noted that volunteers  — Margarita, Daria and Olga  — are also members of the Mercy for Mankind group, and such educational campaigns are coordinated through the initiative’s group on Viber.

On Sunday, a small number of the group members could come, but a lot of people were interested in getting the information about it, as a “Animal Rights March” was going in Mariinsky Park at the same time, and there were much more people than usual. People whose hearts are open to the world became a great audience: they were coming to the stand, asking questions, warming up with tea and coffee, participating in a quiz, having awarded with sweet prizes at the end – fragrant honey puffs.

The organizers were pleasantly surprised that many of those who came up to them already had a basic knowledge of Islam and Muslims, so the quiz was easy for them. Even the kids showed good awareness! Others, on the contrary, were coming up to due to lack of knowledge: they wondered what connection was between Mary and Muslimahs. And they were told that Muslims respect Mary very much, and know not only about her life, but also about the lives of her parents and relatives; mentioned in Qur’an, which includes the whole Surah named after Mary, and the miracles associated with this righteous person are mentioned in great detail.

It was interesting to communicate with a group of devote Christians: they found much in common with Muslims concerning their knowledge and attitude toward that person. They noticed differences as well, but discussed them with respect for each other’s views. The two groups shared even their contacts with each other, and Christians promised to visit Kyiv Islamic Cultural Centre, noticing that they would not change their religious views, though. They were assured that no one would require it from them: They were just asked to come with peace and hearts open to dialogue and building the bridges.