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March 2019 - Newsletter Video Blog Summary

March 2019 - Newsletter Video Blog Summary

March 2019


Apologies in advance for the poor audio quality.

 

 

This March my play was performed by actors at at
the Emirates Literature Foundation.

 

I was chosen as a finalist as Change maker of the Year at
Be the Change Awards 2019 and Ethical Hour.

 

Despite struggling with my shoulders I participated in the Six Items Challenge for the eighth consecutive year.

I enrolled on the Be The Change Future Learn MOOC with Oxfam and the Open University.

I welcomed environmental activist Isatou Ceesay and her son Madou to Dubai.

 

 

Play writing Course with Alex Broun and the Emirates Literature Foundation 

Recitals  3/9/2019 at

The Emirates Festival of Literature 2019

This March my play was performed at the Emirates Literature Foundation.

Recitals of our plays were performed by actors Saturday 9th March 2019.

Many thanks to all the actors, audience and family members who performed and attended.

 

Videos

Sadly, due to technical difficulties I couldn't record all my scenes.

I'm grateful to Edwige for forwarding the following videos.

 

INTRODUCTION AND

SCENES ONE, THREE AND SEVEN  

Introduction

Sabeena talks to the audience

Sabeena: My name is Sabeena and I’m trying to be a kinder and compassionate human being.

I'm a fair trade campaigner, educator and social entrepreneur.

Over the years I have encountered discrimination, criticism, total acceptance and love.

I’d like to share my experiences to promote a healthy dialogue, empathy and tolerance.

As a person of colour, I believe we shouldn't be labelled and stereotyped by our appearance, our beliefs, our command of the English language and the preservation of our beautiful cultures and traditions.

I’d like to be recognized for my passion, dedication and strength.

 

Scene 1

 

Scene One

The Careers Office

Characters

Careers Officer

Sabeena

 

Sabeena knocks on the career office door

Careers Officer: Come In!  Take a seat, its Sabeena right?

Sabeena: Yes, Thank you!

Careers OfficerShuffling of papers

Careers Officer: What do you want do when you leave school?

Sabeena: I want to be a forensic scientist.

Careers Officer: Big Sighs

Careers Officer: I’ve had a look at your predicted grades.

You don’t have the grades required to study sciences. Have you thought about BTEC courses?

Sabeena: No!

Careers Officer: Maybe you should think about applying for a BTEC in Childcare, Fashion or Business?

Sabeena: Disappointed

Sabeena: I want to be a forensic scientist.

Careers Officer: Why?

 

Sabeena: I’ve always been fascinated by the subject ever since the Police visited my old primary school and talked about criminology and forensics.

Careers Officer: Do you know the meaning of forensics?

Sabeena: Yes! It’s the study of crime scenes, dna and investigating the death of people from unusual circumstances.

Careers Officer: Ignores Sabeena and responds in cold uninspiring voice

Careers Officer: Your predicated grades for Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths, are B’s and C’s.You will struggle at A-level.

I seriously think you should re-consider your options.

Think about what I’ve said and let’s arrange another appointment to discuss your decision next month?

Sabeena: Bigger sighs

Sabeena: Okay!

Sabeena leaves the Careers Office heavy hearted and despondent

Sabeena: Talks to the audience

Sabeena: If I could travel back in time I would have said the following to the Careers Officer with a big smile on my face.

Thank you for your time and recommendations, however, I’m determined to qualify as a forensic scientist. I’ll take my chances and a take a leap of faith.

 ‘be an encourager the world has plenty of critics already.’

Goodbye! :)

Scene 3

 

Scene Three

Fairtrade Café

Characters

JJ

Bee

Sabeena

Bee and JJ are sitting at a table waiting for Sabeena.  Sabeena Arrives and removes her niqaab.

Bee: Hello!

JJ: Hi!

Sabeena: Hello ladies! I’m Sabeena. Lovely to meet you. What would you like to drink?

Bee: A black coffee.

JJ: A café latte please?

Sabeena: Calls the waiter

Sabeena: Could we have a black coffee, a café latte and an English Breakfast tea with hot milk please?

The ladies sit down.

JJ: Thank you for meeting us at such notice.

Sabeena: No problem, it’s my pleasure.

I’m so pleased the American Women’s Association has taken an interest to support my fair-trade work.

Bee stares at Sabeena and talks angrily

 

Bee: You KILLED 3000 people on 9/11.

JJ: No response

Sabeena: Is taken aback but intrigued to learn more.

Bee: Raises her voice

YES! You people killed thousands on 9/11.

Angrily continues her voice rising

Bee: You MURDERED them!

Sabeena: What ME, Personally?

Sabeena: Is more intrigued

Bee: YES, YOU!

Sabeena: Talks to the audience

At this point I wanted to make a sharp exit. This isn’t the coffee morning I had in mind. Lord, give me strength!

Bee continues almost snarling

Bee: You people think you can get away with it! You destroyed thousands of lives.

You cause destruction and misery wherever you go.

JJ: Is listening intently but does not interrupt or stop her friend from speaking

Bee: Why are Muslim women always oppressed?

She stares at Sabeena’s hijab and abaya with disdain and disapproval.

You’re so oppressed and subjugated. You have to ask permission for WORK, RECREATION, TRAVEL AND WEAR CLOTHES.

It’s so depressing and a sorry state of affairs.


The atmosphere is heavy and toxic

Bee continues her monologue in an angry voice

Bee: Why do you always wear black? Why do you cover your faces? It’s so humiliating.

I could never do that. Why can’t you show your faces?

ISLAM IS SO RESTRICTIVE, MEN CONTROL WOMEN!!!

JJ: Makes no attempt to stop Bee from talking.

Sabeena: Talks to the audience

I wanted to run for the hills.

I was surprised and confused why JJ made no attempt to diffuse the situation.

Is Bee ever going to let me speak?

I didn’t sign up for this?

The conversation continues, Bee continues to vent her anger

Bee: We invited Muslim women to a coffee morning so that we could improve inter-faith dialogue and strengthen relationships.

The ladies just sat and ignored us. They made no attempt to speak or interact.

Bee: Rolls her eyes

IT WAS A DISASTER!

Sabeena: Talks to the audience

I thought I was being Punked?

I had to do something fast, I had to calm this lady down.

I took a deep breath and thought, You can do this Sabeena,

be brave, be strong, believe in yourself. You can turn this around.

Sabeena begins to talk clearly and calmly.

I was born and educated in Manchester.

I speak fluent English, Urdu and a little French.

I was an ESOL practitioner in London.

I taught Beginners English to asylum speakers and refugees.

I can introduce you to friends who are highly qualified professionals, articulate, and who observe the hijab and niqaab.

Would you be interested to meet them?

I’d be delighted to visit the American Women’s Association and talk about fair-trade.

Maybe, you’d like to become fair-trade suporter?

Bee: Listening intently, a little shocked by Sabeena’s statements and questions.

Bee: Okay!

JJ: You were a little a little harsh Bee.

Bee: Is silent but no makes no apology

Sabeena A waiter arrives with hot beverages and cakes.

Sabeena: Talks to the audience

I was relieved but emotionally drained. I needed a good fair-trade brew (cup of tea).

Sabeena: Here you are ladies.

The three eat/drink in eerie silence. JJ breaks the silence.

JJ: Well, it’s been lovely meeting you Sabeena.

Bee: We’d like to see your fair-trade products?

JJ: Would it be okay if we brought a few ladies over to your apartment next week to purchase some fair-trade products?

S: Yes, Absolutely! It would be my pleasure.

S: Talks to audience

Sabeena: I’ve never been so happy and relieved to go home.

The following week a group of 8 ladies visit Sabeena’s apartment and purchase fair-trade products.

  

Last Scene

Older Sabeena: Talks to the audience

Older Sabeena: I wanted to end on one of the happiest moments of my life.

There’s a beautiful magical innocence about children accepting of one another without fear or prejudice, sadly, these characteristics fade as we grow older.

This is the year of tolerance and I hope we can all learn to celebrate our differences, respect one another, choose kindness and compassion and eat more fair-trade chocolate.

As for me I hope to laugh more, spend quality time with my loved ones, fulfill long overdue ambitions and travel.

Thank you for listening.

Love, peace and blessings

 

Gallery 

Sabeena Ahmed, Deborah, Padmini, Brenda, Edwige, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Julia and Alex Broun, new playwrights at the Emirates Literature Festival March 2019 Dubai UAE

Ashwarya one of the youngest playwrights

 

Sabeena Ahmed, Deborah, Padmini, Brenda, Edwige, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Julia and Alex Broun, new playwrights at the Emirates Literature Festival March 2019 Dubai UAE

Ashwarya, Tvisha and Padmini

 

Sabeena Ahmed, Deborah, Padmini, Brenda, Edwige, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Julia and Alex Broun, new playwrights at the Emirates Literature Festival March 2019 Dubai UAE

Edwige and Sabeena

 

Sabeena Ahmed, Deborah, Padmini, Brenda, Edwige, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Julia and Alex Broun, new playwrights at the Emirates Literature Festival March 2019 Dubai UAE

Deborah and Andrea

 

Sabeena Ahmed, Deborah, Padmini, Brenda, Edwige, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Julia and Alex Broun, new playwrights at the Emirates Literature Festival March 2019 Dubai UAE

Julia, Tvisha, Padmini and friend

 

 Sabeena Ahmed, Deborah, Padmini, Brenda, Edwige, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Julia and Alex Broun, new playwrights at the Emirates Literature Festival March 2019 Dubai UAE

Actors performing the plays with Alex Broun

 

Sabeena Ahmed, Deborah, Padmini, Brenda, Edwige, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Julia and Alex Broun, new playwrights at the Emirates Literature Festival March 2019 Dubai UAE

Sabeena perfoming Ashwarya's play with other actors 

 

Sabeena Ahmed, Deborah, Padmini, Brenda, Edwige, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Julia and Alex Broun, new playwrights at the Emirates Literature Festival March 2019 Dubai UAE

Actors performing the plays

 

Sabeena Ahmed, Deborah, Padmini, Brenda, Edwige, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Julia and Alex Broun, new playwrights at the Emirates Literature Festival March 2019 Dubai UAE

The happy playwright group

 

Sabeena Ahmed, Deborah, Padmini, Brenda, Edwige, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Julia and Alex Broun, new playwrights at the Emirates Literature Festival March 2019 Dubai UAE

Playwrights with Alex Broun

 

Sabeena Ahmed, Deborah, Padmini, Brenda, Edwige, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Julia and Alex Broun, new playwrights at the Emirates Literature Festival March 2019 Dubai UAE

Sabeena Ahmed, Deborah, Padmini, Brenda, Edwige, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Julia and Alex Broun, new playwrights at

the Emirates Literature Festival March 2019 Dubai UAE

 

 

Be The Change Awards 2019

Video for Ethical Hour

Humbled and honoured to be a finalist in Be The Change Maker of the Year.

My video for Be the Change Awards 2019 and Ethical Hour.

 

Sadly, the Peoples' Choice Award was suspended.

Many thanks to Sian Conway and Jo Salter for their dedication and tireless work to make the Be The Change Awards successful.

 

Be The Change Awards 2019

With Ethical Hour

The Be The Change Awards are an up and coming new initiative for the social impact sector, recognising ethical & sustainable brands with a powerful impact story to tell.

Around the world independent, ethical & sustainable brands are having a positive impact on communities, people and the planet. We want to recognise, celebrate and raise the profile of those brands who are working towards the Sustainable Development Goals and creating positive impact in inspiring and world-changing ways.

The first ever Be The Change Awards in 2019 will bring together ethical & sustainable brands across 12 sectors from fashion to business services, who have a powerful impact story to tell.

Entries for 2019 are now closed.

 

 

SIX ITEMS CHALLENGE 2019

WITH LABOUR BEHIND THE LABEL

six items challenge 2019 with Labour Behind The Label - Sabeena Ahmed, Dubai UAE 

 

 

GALLERY

Sabeena Ahmed - Six Items Challenge 2019 with Labour Behind The Label Week 1

 

Sabeena Ahmed - Six Items Challenge 2019 with Labour Behind The Label

 

Six Items Challenge 2019 - Sabeena Ahmed

 

Six Items Challenge 2019 - Sabeena Ahmed

 

Six Items Challenge 2019 - Sabeena Ahmed

 

Six Items Challenge 2019 - Sabeena Ahmed

 

 

Hello and Assalaam Alaikum (peace and blessings) everyone,

Thanks for dropping by.

So here I am for the eighth consecutive year I'm participating in the Six Items Challenge with Labour Behind The Label.

This year the challenge commences 6th March - 18th April March 2019.

Six Items Challenge 2019

Everyday Hero Page

I have decided to participate and support the Six Items Challenge for the eighth year because I started to campaign for garment and factory workers while caring for my mother who had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.

The six items challenge means I choose six items of clothing to wear for six weeks.

Don't worry!

This does not include under garments or exercise gear. You can wear an endless supply of these. :)

This year I hope to design a clothes range in memory of my beautiful mother Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano and support fair trade certified cotton farmers and ethical producers.

My beloved mother was a great advocate for women's empowerment and education.

I believe she would have been happy and proud of me to continue my campaigning for the millions of countless individuals producing clothes and accessories in factories and workshops around the world.

Hopefully by the end of the Six Week Challenge I would have educated a few people and raised a few pounds/dirhams.

 

SIX ITEMS CHALLENGE 2019 VIDEOS

 

WEEK ONE

 

WEEK TWO

WEEK THREE

 

 

Be The Change - MOOC with Oxfam and the Open University

This March I decided to enrol on a MOOC course 'Be The Change' with Oxfam and the Open University.

I particulary enjoyed Weeks 6, 7 and 8.

Best wishes to all the change makers with their change making.

 

 

Isatou Ceesay Environmental Activist and Social Entrepreneur Visits Dubai

Isatou Ceesay environmental activist and social entrepreneur accompanied by her son Madou stayed with me for 5 days during their 7 day visit to Dubai late March early April 2019.

I asked Isatou to sign copies of her book for nephew's and niece's.

I also conducted a detailed interview with Isatou (pronounced Ay Sa Tou) about her life and work.

 

Isatou signing my copy of One Plastic Bag

 

Interview short edited version 

  

Interview long edited version

  

 

Gallery March 2019

Isatou Cessay signing copies of One Plastic Bag - March/April 2019 (UAE)

Isatou Cessay signing copies of One Plastic Bag - March/April 2019 (UAE)

 

Isatou Cessay signing copies of One Plastic Bag - March/April 2019 (UAE)

Isatou Cessay signing copies of One Plastic Bag - March/April 2019 (UAE)

 

Isatou Cessay and Sabeena Ahmed Visit to The Emirates Literature Foundation March/April 2019 (UAE)

Isatou Cessay and Sabeena Ahmed Visit to The Emirates Literature Foundation March/April 2019 (UAE)

 

 Isatou Ceesay with Aedan and Flora at the Emirates Literature Foundation, Dubai, UAE, March 2019 with Sabeena Ahmed

Aedan and Flora with Isatou 

Visit to The Emirates Literature Foundation March/April 2019 (UAE)

 

Isatou Cessay, Madou and Sabeena Ahmed Visit to Deira/Shindaga. March/April 2019 (UAE)

Isatou Cessay, Madou and Sabeena Ahmed

visit Deira/Shindaga. March/April 2019 (UAE)

 

About Isatou Cessay

Isatou Ceesay is an environmental activist and social entrepreneur from Njau, Gambia.

For over 16 years she has been reducing the use of single use plastic.

She has co-authored a book about her plastic journey titled One Plastic Journey with Miranda Paul who I interviewed last year.

Isatou has established a government certified organisation implementing many initiatives including, tree planting, waste management, girls in education, free sanitation for girls, empowering women as social entrepreneurs, nutrition, Islamic education and supporting adults with special needs through income generated programmes.

Many thanks to the Emirates Literature Foundation for taking time to see us and the the IEBE team at the Middlesex University Dubai for inviting me as a guest judge and Isatou as guest speaker.

Despite my painful shoulders I took care of Isatou the best that I could.

I hope she enjoyed her stay.

To read and watch more interviews please click here.

 

 

Further Reading and Links

 

Alex Broun

The Emirates Festival of Literature 

Be The Change Awards

Six Items Challenge 2019

Labour Behind The Label

Make Change Happen - Future Learn (Oxfam and Open University)

One Plastic Bag

 

 




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