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Breaking down barriers with a new Culture Café

22 August 2017

Culture Hijab

It's not all about the coffee at The Hideout Café in Grangetown - a new initiative the Culture Café made its debut on Saturday 19th August.

The concept is simple, bring Grangetown residents together and discuss a topic important to the community. The first session focused on women who wear the face veil or the hijab.

The discussion started with Sahar Al-Faifi introducing herself along with Mend, the anti-islamophobia organisation that she works for. She talked frankly and candidly about her experiences wearing the face veil and personal encounters with Islamophobia. More women who attended talked about their experiences wearing the veil, their choice to start wearing the veil and the interactions they have with family members about wearing a face veil or hijab in this culturally sensitive time.

The discussion touched on choice and freedom to wear the veil and making it clear that they had chosen the veil and weren’t forced by anyone to wear it. To them it is an expression of their beliefs and not a tool for oppression.

The attendees listened attentively to the women’s experiences and then the discussion moved to Muslim men and women’s representation in the media and how to combat islamophobia. Most attendees agree that the best way to educate someone about Islam is through a one on one conversation.

Culture Cafe

All in all, the Culture Café is a way to spend your late Saturday afternoon filled with incredibly interesting debate and people, allowing you to gain new experiences and with a great cup of coffee!

Mhairi McVicar, Community Gateway Project Lead said:

'The first Culture Café at the Hideout perfectly embodied the vision the residents leading the Pavilion project first had in 2012 when they started talking about making a place for everyone in Grangetown to get together: a diverse group of people, meeting and sharing diverse experiences, over a great cup of coffee. Huge congratulations to everyone involved for making it a reality, and looking forward to more!'

Learn more about Mend on

For the next Culture Café keep an eye out of the Community Gateway (@CommunityGtwy) and the Hideout (thehideout_ggp) Twitter page.

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