Our vision and objectives
Amal works with many partners to support creative endeavours that increase understanding of Britain’s Muslim communities among others and foster a stronger sense of belonging in the UK among our Muslim communities.
Our vision is of a Britain in which Muslims are fully and fairly represented, equally valued, and celebrated for their rich and diverse contribution to British life. In our work, we are guided by the values of compassion, conviviality and social justice.
Our objectives matter because a multicultural society like the UK’s can’t be a just, harmonious and successful one without empathy between its multiple communities. Muslims represent a significant proportion of the British population. Many of them face socio-economic disadvantage. Pervasive, negative and monolithic stereotyping of them builds barriers, barriers to the understanding of Muslims, to their sense of belonging, to their full inclusion in society.
We believe that engagement in arts and cultural activity broadens horizons and forges common ground within and between communities. Amal means “hope” in Arabic. It is our hope to touch the lives of many, building greater understanding and bringing people together in creative, innovative and exciting ways.
Our story so far
Since 2017, as a programme of the Saïd Foundation, Amal has supported 51 partners to deliver 63 projects, encompassing a variety of art forms and over 1,200 events. The projects were chosen to reflect diversity, including gender, ethnicity, age and disability, and engaged both mainstream and harder-to-reach audiences from Aberdeen to Brighton in arts venues, museums, theatres, schools, places of worship, at festivals and in the community.
Amal has consulted widely, listened carefully and made sure to reflect the rich diversity of our Muslim communities in our work. We are proud to enable diverse Muslim voices to be heard and encounters within and across communities to take place. Amal is now widely recognised, with an online presence and visibility which grows year-on-year. We have hugely experienced advisers and an extensive network of organisations, artists, cultural workers and others. We are committed to sharing our learning and to convening and connecting organisations, communities and artists to help maximise the value of their and our work.
This is pioneering and necessary work. It produces results that matter for the cohesion of our society. There are many countervailing forces as well as some that work with us. We offer a radical kind of hope that the UK, despite the divisions of recent times, can build ever more harmonious relations between its communities.
But for Amal to bring about wider-reaching change, we need to work consistently and sustainably over the long term and to grow our ambition. It is in this spirit that Amal was established as an independent charity in August 2020. With the generous support of the Saïd Foundation and the matching funding we hope to attract from others who share our vision, we intend to relaunch activities in 2021. With existing and new Amal partners, we will work for greater Muslim participation in arts and cultural activities, richer creative encounters between communities, more authentic representation of Muslim lived experience and stories, and more opportunities for the celebration of our Muslim communities and their contributions to British society.