Call for Research Participants

Who? I am hoping to come into contact with couples where one of the partners is of a Muslim-Arab background and the other is/was non-Muslim and/or non-Arab. I would also very much like to speak to couples who are both from a Muslim-Arab background but their relationship is/was still contested by their family due to racial or non-ethnic factors.
What? The topic of my research is to better understand couples in intercultural/interfaith relationships and how couples position themselves and their relationship within their community.
How and Where? The process of the research will involve informal and casual interviews with either both or one of the partners. Questions will centre on the history of the relationship, reaction of family, role of religion/culture in relationship and compromises reached (e.g. how children will be raised), family background and own history of growing up. The questions can be personal and the nature of interviews is intimate. This can progress as slowly as the participants feel comfortable with. Confidentiality is a top priority and pseudonyms will be used. The location of these interviews is to be discussed privately with the participants and can be arranged to what they are most comfortable with.
Why? The point of this study is to better appreciate the complexity of contested relationships within the Arab-Muslim community. Hopefully, this can contribute to current debates on the role of civil marriages within the Muslim community.
About the researcher: My name is Miriam Al-Hussona and I am an Anthropology research master’s student in Utrecht University. As an Arab woman from a Muslim background I chose to focus on the issue of relationships that are deemed unacceptable by families or society. This is something very close to my heart as I hope to one day join activists and advocates that also strongly believe in the freedom to choose. If you would like to participate please email me on

Bigots beware – you have fewer places to hide in mixed-heritage Britain

Bigots beware – you have fewer places to hide in mixed-heritage Britain, says Hugh Muir for The Guardian. Shedding some light on the recent dynamics of racism and the fact that British society is no longer simply Black or White, Muir’s article is both enlightening and a warning.

Twins Sisters: A World Apart

The truly inspiring tale of two families who stepped up to the challenges and positives of their remarkable cross cultural life.

This is the  poignant true story of twin sisters, Mia and Alexandra born in China, and found as babies in a cardboard box in 2003.  Chinese officials denied they were twins and the girls were adopted by two separate sets of parents – one from California, the other from a remote fishing village in Norway.

It was a chance sighting at the orphanage that raised the families’ suspicions that their daughters were in fact,  twins.  They kept in touch until a  DNA test was performed which  proved their hunch had been right. Both girls grew up knowing they had an identical twin living on the other side of the world.

In the US, Mia is a typical all-American girl, with a bustling life filled with violin lessons, girl scouts and soccer. Alexandra grows up close to nature in the quietude of the breathtakingly beautiful but isolated village of Fresvik, Norway.

The is the documentary of Mia and Alexandra’s parallel journey. They keep in touch with letters, photographs, gifts  and phone calls. They meet in person in Norway when they are eight years old. Despite living completely different lives and speaking different languages, they are mirrors of each other.  The magical bond between Mia and Alexandra is matched by the extraordinary efforts of their parents and siblings to maintain this twin bond across their very different cultures and worlds.

Pregnant, About to Marry and then Arrested

For groom Neil McElwee and his bride Yanan Sun, their white wedding was to be their best day ever.

Chinese-born Yanan Sun – six months pregnant with their first baby – had splashed out £1,000 on a stunning dress. And the happy couple had invited over 70 guests to celebrate at a £6,000 hotel reception.

But their perfect day turned into a nightmare when moments before they were due to say ‘I do’, they were both arrested – after suspicions they were having a sham marriage.

Just one of the problems faced by cross cultural couples- some people think they are not ‘really’ together and the relationship is suspect and a sham…

Research Participants Needed

I am Jennifer Nicholls one of Dr Elizabeth Harris’ first year students.

The title of my project is; Exploration of the ways in which the union of two different faiths are brought together by marriage. For this piece I would like couples from different faiths to fill in a questionnaire about their future marriage or the marriage they have already had and the components of this marriage, for example whether two ceremonies are done or whether there is a civil ceremony and blessings are done afterwards in the respective holy buildings or if there was need for conversion to take place.

Would you or any of your group be able to help me with this, the questionnaires would be sent over email and if there were any queries the couple could email me, the research will be done anonymously and there will be no reference to the couples by name in the final piece and they are free to withdraw at any point in the research


Please contact her directly

From London to Nagpur, Lauren and Abhiram, 2015’s inspirational cross cultural couple

Video: Brooklyn Imam: ‘We Muslims Must Admit We Are Time Bombs with Deep-Rooted Hatred of Christians. It Originates in the Islamic Ideology.’

Originally posted on The Muslim Issue:

“Let us admit without lying to ourselves,” the Brooklyn imam says, “that we, the Muslims, are time bombs. … Muslims of the religious sector are time bombs. When a sinner repents, the first thing he does is create a bomb. He blows it up and kills people. We must admit this. We cannot become immune if we do not admit this. If you have cancer, it wont help you if I tell you that you have the flu. … Let us admit another thing. The majority of us Muslims hate the Christians – true or false? Yes, that is the truth. When you see how many Muslims (oppose congratulating Christians on their holidays) you have to admit that deep-rooted hatred dwells in the hearts of the Muslims.”

Then he asks, “Who instilled so much hatred in these generations? It is the ideology present in the books – the ideology of…

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