CAIRO - Breaking down stereotypes and assumptions about female Muslims in Ireland, a new drama would be staged next year in Dublin to present personal and true stories of successful veiled Muslim women.
"Over 49,000 Muslims now call Ireland home, Denise Charlton, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said in a statement on the council's website on Monday, November 26.They are playing a positive role in our society and are active in every part of Irish life.
The aim of this production is to reflect that reality and to breakdown misconceptions which people may have about the Muslim community.
The drama, entitled the Hijabi Monologues, is planned to be staged on the Axis Theatre in Ballymun, Dublin, next year.
Preparing for the performance, Muslim women were invited to submit storylines for the new theatre production.
The play is hoped to help break down stereotypes about the Muslim community in the European country.
We are now asking women, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, those who wear the hijab and those who do not to come forward and tell us their stories, Charlton said.
We believe they will offer experiences which women of other faiths and of no faith will relate to.
It is these experiences which will define Hijabi Monologues in Ireland and hopefully provide a platform for Ireland to explore issues which have caused division and conflict in other parts of Europe."
Ireland is home to some 50,000 Muslims, making up about 1 percent of the total population.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one's affiliations.
Shifting the focus from hijab, the theatrical performance would be shedding light on the effect successful Muslim women have in Irish society.
Through the Hijabi Monologues we want to shift the focus away from the headscarf and instead focus on the women who make up the diverse Irish Muslim community, Charlton said.
We will reflect their wide-ranging views on faith, education, class, Irish life and many other areas.
The production - supported by the Immigrant Council and the British Council - is based on the successful Hijabi Monologues already successful in the US over the past 6 years.
We are proud to have brought Hijabi Monologues to Ireland and to be developing it further with the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Liz McBain of the British Council said.We are especially pleased to help make connections between community groups and arts organizations in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.