Shaista Gohir interviewed by Stephen Shashoua

Published on by rothschild

How far are you in making your project a reality or what stage in the process are you in?

Still at the initial stage, not even done the business plan as i have been so busy.


How has the fellowship assisted you in developing your project?

It has got me thinking about the potential of the project.


How would you define success for the project?

Collecting opinions through surveys, influencing through blogs.  When MVUK is seen as a major source of Muslim views and opinions in the UK.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully known internationally on issues concerning Muslim women and their rights, an influencer and have written a book or two.

Also a bit of an expert on the radicalisation of Muslim women.



What colour best describes you?



What would you change about the fellowship or about your attitudes during the fellowship if you could do it all over again?

The fellowship was too academic – social entrepreneurs are more practical people.  We are not the type to sit and listen to lectures. More facilitated / training type workshops would have been better.


Has the fellowship made you discover something new about yourself?

That i didn’t know much about Jewish people, it broke stereotypes that i had.


How has the fellowship developed your relationship/attitudes with Jewish people (individually or collectively).  What new thing did you learn about them?

Yes, I have made an effort to contact a local Jewish women’s organisation. 


Did you feel that the Fellowship allowed for a safe space to speak openly and frankly?

Although we could say things, i don’t think we could be totally honest as we probably were worried about causing offence.


How would you use the network in the years to come?

To get opinions and advice from fellow members; exchange useful information and promote initiatives.


Was discussion on the Middle East ever a barrier to your or the group’s development?

Well yes, we weren’t really allowed to discuss it, there was nothing in the programme and not brought up as a topic formally. So we got the message that we were not supposed to talk about the white elephant in the room.


What moment do you remember best from the fellowship?

When we were able to relax with other fellows and have one on one conversations – but did not get sufficient opportunity to do this as the days were packed and long.


Have you felt able to transfer your knowledge onto others in your community? If so, how?

I was unable to transfer the knowledge on to the community as it was academic – it needed to be packaged differently to make it more transferable.


Do you believe there will be better relations between Muslims and Jews in the UK in the near future? In the Middle East? If yes, where do you see yourself in this? If not, why not?

Yes i think it is possible for good relations – need more one to contact at grass roots level which is not happening. Most improvements will be seen between activists and community leaders. But I don’t think the relations will improve in a major way (particularly in the Middle East) unless the Palestinians get justice and their own state.




What do you see in these pictures?


            Alien                                       two men facing each other (whirling dervishes type)



What is your favourite sound? Smell?

Favorite sound is total silence actually as I lead a hectic life.  I like the smell of light floral perfume.



Is there anything you would like to answer that I haven’t asked about your project?

Thank you!!

Published on AdR Fellows

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