Nominating Dr Ishraga Mustafa Hamid for the World Pulse Spirit Award for being the beacon of Hope in the Horn of Africa and beyond
Apr 28, 2022
Dr Ishraqa Mustafa Hamed is a Sudanese woman living in Austria. She is a member of World Pulse and her story was shared under
Ishraga is a literary scholar and the founder of Arts of Banat Mendy an advocacy and solidarity Network initiative, a non-governmental organisation to encourage, empower women and girls through creative art works, through writing workshops women to have opportunity to express and process their personal experience of migration, fight marginalisation, discrimination, and all forms of gender-based violence. The organisation is named after the Sudanese Colonial freedom fighter Mendy Bint El-Sultan Agabna from the Nubia Mountains in South Kordofan.
I am inspired by Ishraga’s creative, bright ideas and projects. Dr Ishraga always calls loudly for activists to invest their time in what benefits humanity. Focus your work on creative ideas and effective projects that contribute to social change. Any wasted minute would be at the cost of our projects and advises to never give up on your dreams, no matter the obstacles.
With this respect it’s important to mention some of her inspiring and valuable activities during 2020-2021 Covid19 lockdown in organising festivals of various events through Zoom and use of various social media that created opportunities benefiting many women and youth of both genders, not only exclusive to Sudan but including women and youth from other countries.
The following are a list of some of Ishraga’s achievements.
- Documentation of twenty Sudanese women creative writers from various fields, Will be published as a book.
- Organised creative workshop for writing an autobiography in cooperation with Kurdish feminist voices under the slogan (No one writes our biography but us).
- Promoted women’s digital workshop in digitization, in which 22 women from Sudan and other countries participated.
- In collaboration with the Network of the Eritrean Women Ishraga facilitated a creative workshop for writing autobiographies for 16 Eritrean women from Britain and Australia alongside four Sudanese women from Canada and France, resulted in a book titled ‘SudEritriyat: Memories of the Exile over Coffee’, in the process of publication.
- Arranged the inauguration of Arts of Banat Mendy's first international conference under the slogan of ‘Mendy rises from Vienna with global visions’ from 5-8th March 2021, entitle: Sudanese Women and diversity. The conference was attended by 45 activists from various countries.
- Coordinated and publishing a poem book “Selilat Al-Arafa’ (in Arabic) in collaboration with the prominent Libyan poet Hawa Al-Qamoud was published.
- Managed to obtain a grant “Malikat Eldar Award for Bread and Roses for the first time in Sudan’s history. The award started with five grants: an honorary grant for a Sudanese novelist, a motivational grant for a young woman from Darfur, and three grants for three cities for creative writing workshops titled Writing for Social Change, in which 65 young women and men from 16 to 24 years old participated. The outcome of these workshops where two books are in the process of printing in March 2022.
- Attained greatest succusses in documenting the late Mendy by her youngest 80-year-old granddaughter.
- Arts of Banat Mendy has achieved one of its most important goals which is networking/connecting women and communities. For example: Ishraga managed to connect the following organisations. Novskal Production, Bunyan, Awalem WeKelimat, Voices of Kurdish Women, Network of Eritrean Women, Al-bet Al-Arabi Al Namsawi for Culture and Arts and other activists from diverse professions. In the coming days there will be more reginal and global networking initiatives lined up.
- Held an interview with an inspirational women from different nationalities, activists and role models in different fields. Ishraga was interviewed by Vienna Women on Air radio, Sudania 24 TV Channel, African Perspectives in Germany, in all these interviews Mendy has been at the Centre of the agenda and thus her voice resounds via Vienna.
- Mendy was selected in a study among 6 inspiring initiatives in Austria from an academic team from the College of Development Studies.
Throughout her work, I have seen Ishraga lifting up many women and men of all ages and from diverse backgrounds. She is a great listener, non-judgemental and empathic. Her various works clearly demonstrates her ability to utilise every opportunity to influence the influencers thus contributing to social change and make a difference.
Khedijah Ali Mohammed-Nur
Co-Founder of Network of Eritrean Women-UK