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About

Our vision and objectives

Amal works with many partners to enable 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.  

We believe that engagement in arts and cultural activity broadens horizons and forges common ground within and between communities. Amal means “hope” in Arabic.  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. 

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 are proud to enable diverse Muslim voices to be heard and encounters within and across communities to take place. 

Our story so far

Amal began life in 2017 as a programme of the Saïd Foundation, supporting 51 partners to deliver 63 projects that encompassed 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. 

Having built a community of partners, artists, advisers and friends, Amal embarked in 2020 on an ambitious new future as a Muslim-led, independent charity committed to bringing about wider-reaching change and to working sustainably over the long term.   

Based on our learning to date and on continuing consultation, we are now launching a new cornerstone programme, Amal Connects.  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. 

Amal Connects will help us deepen the engagement of Muslim communities in creative activity and with cultural organisations by facilitating the co-creation of projects in our hub locations, starting in 2021 with Birmingham and Bradford.  We will provide funding for these projects as well as curatorial, convening, capacitybuilding and communications support. Together with our participants, partners, donors and other supporters, we will build a community of practice. 

The launch of Amal Connects has been made possible through the generous support of Amal’s founding donors, the Saïd Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

 

       

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