Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Rasha Yousif | We Came For Peace

With all the turmoil caused by various strands of so-called 'political' Islam and far right Islamists, We Came For Peace is a welcome and timely reminder that Islam's message is that of peace and tolerance.

“We Came For Peace” is a very short multimedia story of Namreen and her mother. Rasha tells us she met them in the women’s section at a Sufi mosque in Srinagar, and was touched by the mother’s sincere prayers. She asked if she would say a prayer for her, and asked the daughter Namreen to translate it. When Namreen was asked as to why she came to the mosque, she answered “We came for Peace”.

Rasha Yousif recently returned from my Sufi Saints of Rajasthan & Kashmir Photo Expedition-Workshop, during which she was immersed in her favorite element, photographing Islamic rituals and traditions, particularly those we encountered in Srinagar.

As I wrote in another post, the Islam (and Sufism) we witnessed in Srinagar's various religious sites was calm and soothing, and while there were many manifestations of utter devotional zeal especially amongst by women, these were gentler than those we witnessed and documented at the Sufi shrine of Moin'Uddin Chisti where the exuberance of the pilgrims was mind-boggling.

Rasha is from Bahrain, where she works in the finance industry. She graduated from the University of Bahrain, and obtained her Masters in Finance from DePaul University.