Eat With Muslims has been featured in Airbnb Magazine and Tasting table among others.
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Eat With Muslims has been supported by Seattle Foundation and King County, WA
In an atmosphere of increasing intolerance, we must become a greater and proactive force for compassion and understanding. The Eat with Muslims (EWM) project was founded by Fathia Absie and Ilays Aden, two American Muslim women from Seattle, WA. Now, more than ever, EWM has the potential to become a groundbreaking grass-roots movement to help aggressively counter misconceptions about Muslims. The first EWM dinner was held in January 2017 and we have been going strong ever since! The response has been powerful and exciting. It is also amazing to see that people recognize our work in building bridges and connecting starngers. Recently, we received U.S. Congressman Adam Smith’s 2018 Champion of Justice Award!
Fathia Absie speaking at the US COAST GUARD ACADEMY
We have hosted over thirty gatherings around Washington State, Oregon, and Iowa and continue to expand. EWM wants to capture the amazing stories of dinner hosts and guests to share it with the rest of the country and world through our web series. Your support will help us create the first SIX EPISODES of the web series and bring talented individuals on board to assist in production and editing.
As the emails and calls pour in from all around the country, we know that this work has great meaning. In fact, after our second dinner, we understood the importance of this project. Many of our guests came because they did not know any Muslims and discovered that they had many preconceived notions based on what they read or heard. We also recognized the significance of storytelling and having the opportunity to depict diverse Muslims through writing, film, and web content.
Ilays Aden and Fathia Absie with Chinook Middle School educators after celebrating MLK Day with Students and teachers!
EWM strives to create an opportunity to build bridges and form relationships between people who may not take the time to meet otherwise. Our project shows that weaving these simple connections into the fabric of our communities is a powerful anecdote that counters xenophobia. Essentially, all of our guests learn more and share what they discover with their own communities. Most importantly, providing a space for Muslims and non-Muslims to relate as Americans is necessary.
Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie stated, “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” EWM works to change the “only story” that is told about Muslims by shining a light on our everyday American experiences and how we all relate.
The popularity of Eat With Muslims’ dinner events continues to rise because people want to take the initiative to join in healthy discussions and get to know their community members. Food has always been a way for people to be at ease and come together. Therefore, we plan to move to phase two of the project: taking this on the road and capturing it through a web series. EWM will head to towns and cities where smaller groups of Muslims and non-Muslims can have lively conversations throughout an evening.
The web series will air bi-weekly, highlighting unique people, food, perspectives and places. This way, the public can easily access the series online and share with friends and family members. As we work to shift the narratives told, we want to showcase more respect and understanding of all of our differences and remind people that there is more that unites us than divides us.
Risks and challenges
We have been hosting these dinners and gatherings since January 2017. There's a serious demand for this kind of concept all over the country. We are already booked through May 2019, and the calls keep on coming. Strangers are inviting us to come and stay with them in their homes just so that they make an effort to reach out to their fellow neighbors and Muslims in their cities. Many people are too shy or don't know what to expect if they approach people on their own. That's where Eat With Muslims comes in.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)