A Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew walk in to an Airbnb

A Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew walk in to an Airbnb.  They make their supper, lounge on the couch, talk about the days’ events, and giggle – a lot.

It’s not the start of a new ABC sitcom, it’s the contents of a beautiful 48 hours last week in Washington, DC.
Every once in awhile, I am overwhelmed by hope and gratitude.  My time on E St NE last week confirmed my deepest conviction: that we can form connections, trust one another, and build a better world, regardless of our faith.
Kelli and me on Capitol Hill to screen Faithkeepers
I was traveling with my wonderful team, Raheel Raza, a Muslim-Pakistani activist and star of my previous film, Honor Diaries, and Kelli Klaus, our social media and outreach manager for my upcoming film Faithkeepers.
Raheel, Kelli, and I came to DC after putting on a Censored Women’s Film Festival event at the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in NYC.  We held a panel which Raheel and I shared with Sharine Atif, an Egyptian-American filmmaker and Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident.
That panel was also an important commentary on what we are told and taught to believe: a Jewish American-Israeli shared a stage with 3 Muslim women.  We shared a joint message of sisterhood, empowerment, and human rights.  Our conversation did not disintegrate into geopolitics, blame, or hatred;
rather, we found much common ground in our (revolutionary?) idea that there is a global sisterhood that should be standing up for one another.
Contrary to popular belief, Jews, Christians, and Muslims, even Zionist Jews (!) can work together toward women’s rights.  We can all be feminists – together – even if we’ve been taught to distrust or malign one another.  We can reject that narrative and focus on the bigger picture – together.
But back to the AirBNB.  Raheel, Kelli, and I tucked into our lovely DC rowhouse.  Raheel heated up her Afghani takeaway, Kelli prepared her Paleo meal, and I relished in my kosher deli.  We shared happy stories from our days of wonder and delight – a tour celebrating human rights and connectivity – and we anticipated the private screening of Faithkeepers on Capitol Hill the following day.  We talked about our families, swapped photos from the previous days, and went over logistics for the next events.

There was no fanfare or even self-awareness; just three women sharing a space and working together with hope, gratitude, and love.

Raheel, Masih, and I present the Censored Women’s Film Festival at the Commission on the Status of Women with other activists and friends

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