In 2013, I dreamt of building a mosque that reflected Feminine qualities. It would be called The Pink Mosque. It would be made by women, for women. It would be a sort of Utopic environment where acceptance, compassion, love, generosity, and beauty would abound. The top level would be used as a prayer space by day, and the bottom level would be an open area that accommodates devotional music and dance performances by night.
The Pink Mosque remains in a dream state to date. However, it gave roots to Project EVOKE which was implemented in Black Rock City in 2014. Several changes were made to the original vision:
1. The name was changed from a passive state (Pink Mosque) to an active state (EVOKE).
2. The original design calling for wood and pink acrylic panels, was replaced by a canvas tent of a much smaller scale.
3. The all women policy turned to co-ed.
These changes were implemented to work with the resources I had at the time and to be bring more inclusion.
As a Muslim woman, I'm committed to giving myself and other women a loftier seat, and a more amplified voice in Islamic communities.
When visiting various mosques in the UAE in 2013, I was deeply saddened to see that the men's prayer spaces were set right under the central dome with high ceilings and ornamentation, and accessed through the main entrance. The women's prayer rooms however, were often small cell like spaces on the side of the mosques, to be accessed by a side door. Sometimes they had no windows, very short ceilings, and little to no decor. I felt truly second class , and discriminated against for being a woman. The allocation of space in most mosques is simply sexist.
Project EVOKE — a site specific and interactive space on the outskirts of Black Rock City during Burning Man 2014 — was crowd funded and community oriented from its inception. The resulting space welcomed individuals of all faith backgrounds (or no faith background) for 5 consecutive days, to a time for self-reflection and prayer, where constructive conversations about religion and its place in the world today could also arise.
I used the Hamsa as the primary motif of EVOKE for its historical roots in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity .
The Hamza represents the protective hand of the three divine feminine figures in all three religions; of Miriam, of Fatima, and of Mary.