Planning for Muslim Voices of Philadelphia

Scribe Video Center



Muslim Voices kick-off event, Iftar Dinner, in August of 2010. Photo by Rashid Zakat, courtesy of Scribe Video Center.

Scribe Video Center, a nationally known and community-based media arts center, worked with scholars and community representatives to discover themes and stories that emerged from the varied Muslim histories of Philadelphia. The project team guided members of the area's Muslim communities, who have been in Philadelphia since as early as the 1870s, in determining how they wanted to define their past and present roles in the region. The process served as a means for building civic engagement and cultural dialogue among these very diverse groups. Planning included the creation of a short pilot documentary that served as the jumping-off point for a larger series of media projects that challenge current stereotypes of Muslims made more pronounced in the post-9/11 world. In a 2011 interview with the Center, Scribe Artistic Director and Pew Fellow Louis Massiah said, "This project offers us the opportunity to tell the full breadth of the Muslim story in America." Scribe Video Center received a follow-up Project Grant in 2012 to implement Muslim Voices of Philadelphia.