I had a wonderful time attending a very important benefit last evening on behalf of Leslie Sacks
and Women’s Voices Now.
Located at the incredible Fleur De Lys Estate in Holmby Hills, “Breaking the Boundaries of Fear and Silence” showcased the inspiring women in Muslim-majority societies who fight courageously for their most basic human rights and free expression through the medium of film.
Guest speakers included:
Gahl Hodges Burt – Co-Founder of the American Academy in Berlin, Director of the International Republican Institute (IRI), and Social Secretary to President and Mrs. Reagan (1983-85).
Cheryl Saban, Ph.D., – author, psychologist, philanthropist, and advocate for women and children. As a writer, she focuses predominantly on family, women’s empowerment, and pediatric healthcare. She is the author of several books including “What is your Self-Worth — A Woman’s Guide to Validation”. She is also a regular contributor and blogger for the Huffington Post. In 2012, President Obama appointed Dr. Saban as the Special Advisor to the United States Mission to the United Nations for the 67th General Assembly and was a US Special Delegate to the 57th Commission on the Status of Women, which was held in New York, in March 2013.
Raheel Raza - award-winning journalist and a human rights activist focusing on gender equality and dignity in diversity, is accredited with the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva through the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). She is the first Muslim woman in Canada to lead mixed-gender prayers. Raheel has made a documentary film called “Whose Sharia is it Anyway?” and is the author of the book “Their Jihad — Not My Jihad”.
Shamila Kohestani - Captain of the first Afghan Women’s National Soccer Team, brings her life story as a young woman under Taliban rule to audiences throughout the United States. She shares her courageous efforts to follow her passion to play a forbidden sport and her journey to pursue a college degree. Her goal is to educate, inform and motivate change for the women in Afghanistan and throughout the world who continue to endure extreme oppression.