SWO Articles and Documents
Sandra Butler, Bay Area Women in Black
ALBANY, CALIFORNIA -- The SWO July luncheon opened with prayer and greetings from SWO coordinator, Amineh Pryor, to a radiant group of women sharing enthusiasm and friendship. We met in a new location where the meal was excellent as well as the setting and it was apparent that attendance and SWO membership continues to flourish. Introductions around the tables reflected Sufi Women Organization trust, inspiration, devotion, humor and honesty and dedication to the SWO Code of Ethics.
Guest speaker, Sandra Butler, Bay Area Women in Black Holds silent vigils, walking in silence, wearing black, as women against war. Thank you to Sandra who spent the afternoon with us and gave such an inspiring talk about her work as a seeker and maker of peace and change. Highlighting key points, her full lecture may appear on the SWO website and
next issue of the SWO newsletter.
Reflections: Women of action: "If something is wrong, then women step forward and do something about it without having to explain any further. We must keep creating what we need to exist as women of faith." "Silence, said Dr. Sandra Butler, used to be terrifying." As she stated: "In the beginning, for me to fall silent was to be without skin though as I became silent and listened, a softer, deeper language began to develop and I realized I had been drowning myself out for decades. Silence has been the most freeing. It is where we can go to find an opening." In her work with grieving women and grieving incest survivors, she says, "It is a time when we draw out the sounds of women speaking their voices for the very first time. The politics of grief are personal and private. We cannot go into a crisis situation with all of the right answers. We can also choose the goodness and work on that. In the seeds of every moment, in every country, it may be transformative. It is a way to live my life." She stressed the importance of women coming together in prayer.
Membership coordinator, Susan Ferdowsali, encouraged SWO membership and distributed the beautiful SWO Newsletter, issue #20, featuring the Ninth Annual Sufism Symposium SWO Annual Meeting, including a summary report, photo album, programs, UN Report, a spiritual perspective, articles and poetry.
SWO Prison Program coordinator, Zaheda Baruti, reported on the biweekly meditation classes being offered to women in prison. There is also an adoptaprisoner donation program where for $16.00, an inmate can receive the award winning journal, Sufism: An Inquiry for one year. Copies of Al-Hadi: the Guide, a newsletter sent to prisoners was distributed at the
Sufi Youth International founder, S. Kianfar reported that a religion based social service group of 200 teens is underway. It is a yearlong endeavor where teens will be meeting in groups on a regular basis, addressing environmental and humanitarian needs in Marin and the Bay Area. Ongoing Sufi Youth programs include Literacy, Art and Tutorial projects and Community Service activities such as storytelling in our communities for children and youth, working in crisis centers that benefit women, children and youth, donating food, clothing, toys and books to shelters, and continuing to partnership with Habitat for Humanity, AfghansforAfghans and various service organizations.
The closing prayer was led by Murshida Batul, East Bay Sufi Women.
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