SWO Articles and Documents
12th Annual Sufism Symposium
Members and friends of Sufi Women Organization came together at the 12th annual International Association of Sufism Symposium in South San Francisco, California on April 30, 2005. We opened our meeting with prayer, followed by welcoming those in attendance and remembering those who could not attend in person. An overview of the many accomplishments of SWO since its inception and under the direction of its founder, Dr. Nahid Angha, was presented. We then shared messages from our international chapters and from women who had sent greetings through the Sufi Women on-line dialogue. We continued with project reports.
SWO has become increasingly active in domestic violence (DV) awareness and prevention. We have participated in several local conferences and collaborate with local DV prevention groups in both English and Farsi. Awareness, support, and education continue in Farsi in the San Jose area. A panel presentation on “Women’s Rights and Creating a Safe Place” was given in Farsi as part of the symposium this year.
The SWO prison project and related literacy program continue to be strong and to positively influence many women inmates. Writing, poetry, meditation, artwork, and self-esteem groups are offered at the women’s jail throughout the year. Books for children and adults are donated for the waiting room. SWO has received feedback that the children appreciate and seem to be calmed by being read to as they wait to visit their parent or relative in the jail.
A special symposium issue of the SWO Newsletter was presented at our meeting. Articles on the work and networking of SWO are presented in the newsletter. We heard a report from our ambassadors to the United Nations on the continuing work in policy and global change in which SWO is involved.
SWO continues to work with children and families in Mexico though the Amigo Project. Books, toothbrushes, and school supplies are taken to Mexico annually as part of this project.
We announced our SWO Fall Conference, with the working title “Women’s Wisdom: Women in Action –Beyond the Myth of the Veil” for which plans are underway. Veils and coverings are being collected to put on display at the conference and in local venues.
Finally, we were reminded that all of the above and many other programs are offered from our hearts as service to humanity. Membership is encouraged and fundraising is a necessary part of our programs. At the symposium we held a silent auction of scarves, artwork, prayer beads, and other items that were donated to SWO.
After closing the meeting with prayer we then held the annual SWO Raffle. Women, men, and children bring their excitement to this fundraising event. Many beautiful baskets were made from donated items. We had baskets of food, CDs, books on Sufism, and, of course, chocolate.
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