“A Garden in Shigar” is one of the competitors at an international film festival

By Tahereh Sheerazie

Women’s Voices Now is hosting Women’s Voices from the Muslim World: The Festival is a unique project that highlights pro-women voices from within the Muslim world and presents an unfiltered and honest account of these women’s stories–the experiences that shaped their lives, the challenges that must be overcome before freedom and gender equality become the status quo, the struggle for freedom of expression and inalienable human rights, and the people who are making this transformation happen.  The project will be realized in partnership with numerous organizations focused on film, women’s rights and/or Muslim issues. Through this plurality of voices we are able to increase cultural awareness on an international level and fill that void in information left by traditional media, art and news sources.

On March 17-19, 2011, this community will have a physical incarnation at the Los Angeles Film School in Hollywood, California.  The attendance of the winning filmmakers (and their subjects) is invaluable to this community.’

One of the films to be presented during this festival is about the women of Shigar, Baltistan. Named “A Garden in Shigar”, the documentary is about ” five young women from the scenic Shigar Valley in the mountainous northern areas of Pakistan. As interns with the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (AKCSP), their project is to landscape the Abruzzi secondary school’s garden in the village of Sainkhor, Shigar, Baltistan. Tahereh, their guide and mentor, has come all the way from Los Angeles, California, to teach the women the principles of design and landscaping. In learning these skills to transform a rubble strewn field into a one-of-a-kind teaching garden, these women sow the seeds for their own transformation.”

Watch the movie at and vote.

Spread the word. Promote Gilgit – Baltistan.

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  1. Woman’s voices in the Muslim world is a very powerful topic. This partnership was a long time coming. “A Garden in Shigar” is very well done and deserves to be viewed by as many people, Muslims or not, as possible. I highly recommend it.

  2. Thank you for your vote of confidence in Mahera’s excellent film.
    Regardless of the film winning an award at the festival, if there is to be a paradigm shift in addressing women’s issues with sincerity (in this case Muslim women) the screening and dissemination of this and all the other films film is a step in the right direction. For rural women struggling to emerge out of a cultural crunch, as well as social and economic disadvantages, this school garden is an important step towards sustainable social inclusion and a replicable long term solution to poverty alleviation. Having put in play a milestone initiative in introducing this creative intrinsically ‘Islamic’ vocation (gardens) for the young men and women of this distant land, AKCSP needs to be lauded. However their continued involvement in finishing the project is supremely essential in a country facing some of its most serious challenges to identity and survival.

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