Women across the Arab world are redefining their role as leaders in Islam. In director Brigid Maher’s insightful documentary film, Veiled Voices , three influential women Islamic leaders are profiled—along with their families and the communities in which they serve: Ghina Hammoud in Lebanon, Dr. Su’ad Saleh in Egypt and Huda al-Habash in Syria.
Filmed over the course of two years, Veiled Voices reveals a world rarely documented, exploring both the public and private lives of these women. As a divorced woman, Ghina Hammoud faces a personal challenge in gaining legitimacy as a leader, since divorce is controversial in communities throughout Lebanon. In Egypt, Dr. Su’ad Saleh must continually fight for public recognition by the Egyptian religious authority at al-Azhar—the famous Cairo mosque and university founded in the 10th century. Huda al-Habash in Damascus enjoys both institutional support and the support of her husband as she teaches women in Syria and lectures all over the Middle East, helping others “move…from ignorance to knowledge.”
The three personal stories featured in Veiled Voices give insight into how Muslim women are increasingly willing to challenge the status quo from within their religion, promoting Islam as a powerful force for positive transformation in the world.
“The film, the first of its kind…is not to be missed by any who wish to enter the world of contemporary Islam with its lively gender dynamics being refashioned under our very eyes.”
–Margot Badran, Feminism In Islam
Film review from the IGN Digigods Podcast.
“A timely, perceptive exploration of an aspect of contemporary Islam that receives relatively scant attention,Veiled Voices is highly recommended.” -M. Puffer-Rothenberg, Video Librarian
“Veiled Voices is one extremely well done and tasteful to present both a structural and individual understanding of the positive roles of women in the Islamic faith” – Malcom L. Rigsby, Department of Sociology at Ouachita Baptist University
“Veiled Voices is a good start to a conversation by and about women in Islam to change misconceptions held about the role of women in the religion.”
– Andrea Hance, the Feminist Review
“Veiled Voices is a film filled with loud, bright stories that enlighten an audience in need of authenticity about Islam in general and the lives of Muslim women in particular.”
– Anisa Mehdi, Common Ground News Service
“…the fact that they are from different areas of the Arab world surely points to a kind of movement that is beginning to take place, and is worth watching — as is this film.”
– Mata H, BlogHer.com
“This film gave another much-needed platform to Muslim women who are trying to make their voices heard for the greater good.”
– Umm Hend, Muslimas Oasis
“Though Veiled Voices isn’t an overtly feminist film, it is a celebration of the often overlooked power and self-determination of devout Muslim women.”
– Mandy Van Deven, Bitch Magazine
“The film is refreshing because it presents a view on Islam from a female perspective through women who are both inspiring and open minded.”
– Danah Abdulla, Heeba Magazine
“A timely, perceptive exploration of an aspect of contemporary Islam that receives relatively scant attention, Veiled Voices is highly recommended.”
– M. Puffer-Rothenberg, Video Librarian
March 2011 – Women in Islam, New York, NY
March 2011 – U.S. Consulate, Casablanca, Morocco
February 2011 – United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C.
December 2010 – Fordsburg, South Africa
December 2010 – Faithworks Inaugural Documentary Screening, Johannesburg South Africa
October 2010 – Duke University, Durham, NC
September 2010 – Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY
April 2010 – Muslim Film Festival, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
April 2010 – New School, New York, NY
April 2010 – 9th Annual Critical Islamic Reflections Conference, Yale University, New Haven, CT
April 2010 – The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO
March 2010 – “Scribe Video Center Producers’ Forum” International House, Philadelphia, PA
March 2010 – Middle East Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY
February 2010 – Human Rights Film Series, University of California, Merced, CA
November 2009 – George Mason University, Middle East Film Club, Arlington, VA
October 2009 – Conference: Women, Leadership, and Mosques: Oxford University, UK
November 2010 – “Best of Religion Today Film Festival” to tour in select cities in Poland
November 2010 – Middle Eastern Visions II Film Festival, Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn, MI
November 2010 – The UTSC Arab Film Festival, Toronto, Canada
October 2010 – Religion Today Film Festival, select cities, Italy
July 2010 – Islamic Society of North America’s Film Festival and Annual Conference, Chicago, IL
April 2010 – Twelfth Annual Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival, Bainbridge, WA
April 2010 – Al Jazeera International Documentary Festival, Doha, Qatar
March 2010 – Women of Color Arts and Film Festival, Atlanta, GA
March 2010 – Los Angeles International Women’s Film Festival, CA
March 2010 – Women’s International Film and Arts Festival, Miami, FL
November 2009 – Middle East Association Film Fest, Boston, MA
November 2009 – New Orleans Middle East Film Festival, New Orleans, LA
October 2009 – International Festival of Muslim Cinema “Golden Minbar”, Kazan, Russia
July 2009 – Islamic Society of North America’s Film Festival and Annual Conference, Washington, DC
March 8th, 2011 – Special International Women’s Day showing at 11:00 pm (EST) on FREE SPEECH TV (DISH Network channel 9415/Direct TV channel 348)
August 2010 – Al Jazeera Network (Middle East and North Africa). Ongoing.
March 2010 – Public Television Syndication: Broadcast throughout the United States: Ongoing.
March 2010 – Bridges TV: Ongoing.
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