Personal Story 1, by Saira Khan: Islamic Community Food Project at Spitalfields
Food For Thought
The “Islamic Community Food Project”, my eyes glazed over a little bit as I read the briefing sheet on my way to Spitalfields City Farm. Hailing from the concrete jungle that is London I’m not sure I had ever set foot on a farm before. Yet on one particularly cold September day I found myself trudging through a farm, trawling through compost, planting seeds, and trying to stare down some uber cool geese strutting around me with what I am convinced was the theme to Saturday Night Fever in the background … I’m not sure I won that stare battle, I got the feeling that they kind of run the place, like some sort of bird Mafia. Not only did I never imagine I would be doing all of the above, but I found that I was actually thoroughly enjoying myself!
I must confess that it was with more than a pinch of trepidation that I volunteered to be part of this project. I wasn’t exactly clear on what it was all about, but this was actually a blessing in disguise because I found that the atmosphere of encouragement, empowerment and participation meant that as the day went on and as the group undertook various discussions and exercises, it became clear that on some level we already knew what we wanted to achieve and the project could in effect be what we collectively wanted it to be. Consequently in a kind of “wax on wax off” moment, the excellent facilitators, Muzammal and Wasi (of Wisdom In Nature) and Naomi (of Spitalfields City Farm), gently prodded our collective knowledge and experience in order to give us the realisation of what our objectives were in developing the project and how we could each contribute to it’s future development. It really is an exciting prospect and I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops. As for the people involved, I honestly can’t speaking highly enough of the facilitators and the attendees at the project. Each person came with their own story and a great deal of enthusiasm and energy. I felt that this group of like minded people who found themselves laughing, praying, meditating, conversing and eating delicious food together could really be part of something extraordinary. So, to conclude, I’m glad to report that following our first meeting the Islamic Community Food Project is now up and running. They say that each journey begins with the first step, and I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed making that step and look forward to the future leaps and bounds!
All Photos © Wisdom In Nature