Interview conducted by Adel Raslan.
Adel: Do you mind briefly explaining about the Maslaha Foundation?
Raheel: maslaha is a charity. Maslaha translates from the Arabic the ‘for common good’ and is the basis for all its work and activities. We work with muslim communities to tackle some of the immediate social issues that they face and try to create a greater understanding of Islam, both, for muslims and non-muslims. Some of the exhibitions we’ve held/put on have shown the relationship between muslims and their communities through music, architecture and storytelling.
Adel: How useful are the arts in the sphere of cultural diplomacy?
Raheel: I think can be, firstly, a very democratic tool. It is something that can be used by all communities and doesn’t have to be dependent on money or wealth. It also helps to widen and expand the vocabulary around issues to help give people different perspectives.
Adel: What role does art and photography play in the creation and cohesion of multicultural societies?
Raheel: one of the things we’ve tried to do in one of our projects I can be she is to give tools like the camera or video camera to normal people on the street and say tell us your stories. And I think when you’re actually hearing stories in people’s own words, you actually hear something that’s actually richer and insightful.
Thank you very much for your time!