Over the course of 14 months, AMWRRI and the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition (MMWC) partnered with other local community organizations to understand the experiences and needs of Muslims with differences of ability. Through focus groups, anonymous surveys, and personal interviews with Muslims with differences of ability and their families, Imams, and healthcare providers, we have gathered valuable information that can be found in our “AMWRRI Disability Digital Archive.”
Arab and Muslim Americans continue to become threaded to the fabric of this nation, and it is only right that they must be represented and their communities’ needs must be emphasized. By partnering with Milwaukee’s key Muslim communities and assembling an interdisciplinary team of Marquette faculty and community members, AMWRRI seeks to tell the stories of Muslim Americans living with differences of ability. AMWRRI’s goal is to raise awareness and increase understanding of disability within these communities in an effort to make all community members feel welcome and supported.
Arab and Muslim women display their finest cultural dress when attending special celebrations such as henna nights, weddings, and other group or community gatherings. The significance of wearing cultural dress while attending these celebrations surpasses its aesthetic meaning and reflects more on the deep connections that women establish with such an attire.
AMWRRI continues its mission of documenting the experiences and histories of Arab and Muslim communities in greater Milwaukee. Since 2010, it has addressed the dearth of information and marginalization of these immigrant groups, by creating an oral archive where men and women share their stories of immigration, integration, and identity.
AMWRRI newsletter connects women in the community together. The newsletter encourages women to be active participants in writing the issues that concern them the most. By publicizing other women’s success stories it spreads awareness of women’s potential to raise above their situations and encourages other women to pursue similar paths. These women, through the newsletter, now have an avenue where their voices can be heard and where they can learn from each others’ experiences. This helps women shift their position from dependent mothers, daughters, and wives to independent individuals who are able to lead their lives and shape their destines.