ST. PAUL, Minn. — In a time when some conversations feel difficult or even dangerous, women from different backgrounds gathered Sunday in St. Paul to share and connect.
The Headscarf Story Circle is a space for women that has become even more meaningful as many feel a divide during the Israel-Hamas war.
Inside the Minnesota Humanities Center, women gathered, all wearing a unifying symbol with its own complexities.
"We have in common this piece of fabric," event founder Rose McGee said.
The Minnesota Humanities Center hosted the Headscarf Story Circle. They invited women to come wearing a headscarf personal to them and symbolic of their beliefs, culture, health or simply fashion.
"It's about being curious, connected and compassionate, it's what we do here," McGee said.
They embraced their differences and found commonalities over tea and various activities and speakers. The story circle was moved from a Saturday to a Sunday so Jewish women could be included too.
"For so many of my friends who couldn't join on Saturdays, they are all here! They could be here, and that's really special," Wendy Goldberg said.
With the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, Goldberg feels it was the perfect time for Jewish and Muslim women to gather together.
"Right now it's not easy, it's terrifying. I have tears, I could sob right now. But sometimes I have to be that person in the room to say 'I'm scared and I'm still holding out my hand,' Goldberg said.
"This was huge to have a moment of pause and a moment of love and to have it reciprocated in communities that are traditionally pitted against each other," RISE Executive Director Malika Dahir said.
Dahir said the safe space offered a brief respite in a time of fear.
"These conversations are incredibly important. We were crying in there, we were laughing, with women from all walks of life," Dahir said.
The four-part series of talks was scheduled before the war between Israel and Hamas began, but the Humanities Center said they hope this inspires more people to create open conversations.
To learn more about the Minnesota Humanities Center, click here.
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