I would have prefered to write this post in my mother language, but IN SHORT; this is what I've been up to. A few months back I was part of a studie led by ms.Tina at "Gränslös Vänskap", Friendship without Limits, (I will have to update with all the links later inshaAllah) who dealt with ethnic Swedish Muslims being discriminated (or not) at work. It's all part of an EU-project and now she invited me to talk at a seminar called "Omedvetna Fördomar", Prejudices we're unaware of, also an EU-project designed to educate company leaders and high positioned staff. When ms.Tina invited me to talk with her I thought it would be more like a meeting between a few people (like 5-10) around a table, and was somewhat chocked when I came inside this room... (and this photo is taken at lunch time,people)!
She spoke about her result of her studie (based on around 15 interviews with Swedish converts to islam) and I about my experiences of working with hidjab. The theme of the whole seminar was kind off diversity pays off, and I wanted to point out the advantages I have as a bridge between Swedish and Muslim culture.
Other speakers was for example Gary Baker, diversity consultant (yes, there is such a thing), Randy Lowe, Senior Vice President of Union Bank, San Francisco US of A, Ivan Daza, founder of Blatteförmedlingen (kom gärna med förslag om hur i sjutton gubbar jag ska översätta det?!), an alternative employment office for immigrants, Ann Marie Lamb, HR at SEBank and Ann Fagraeus, in charge of the project.
I found it very successful. It was so interesting and inspiring. And the best part was the meetings that happened in between. People coming up to me starting conversations and asking questions (I even had a few business cards, proud to say). I was the last person to finish my lunch, let me tell you, because I had to tell (on demand) the all inclusive story of why, how and when I became a Muslim, to the (lucky/unlucky) people sitting beside me.
I was also lucky to "steal" a place at a seminar for people in the business of Law, which my cousin attended and she waved her pretty eye lashes at the in charge and I was in (or something like that). The theme was Honour killings and she thought it would be interesting for us to go together (and she was right, not to mention that we had a chance to eat lunch together and have a long cup of coffee afterwards. She live in another city so we don't get to see each other that often). The seminar was led by two of Sweden's most well known islamologists.