Cultural diversity is a rich wonderful part of Australia. However, the violence around the world is creating fear within our beautiful country.
To address this problem, Mahboba’s Promise started Open Heart, Open Home, an initiative focused on building bridges between communities and increasing racial tolerance. The first event was held in November 2014 and was hosted by freelance writer, Josephine Brouard. She opened her Wooloomooloo home up to over ninety Muslims and non-Muslims with a Persian feast. In her welcome speech, Brouard said, “In the heart of Anglo-Eastern Sydney, I open my home to strangers. Tonight we come in love and peace to get to know each other.”
On the 21st of March 2017, Mahboba’s Promise celebrated Harmony Day, a day where Australians celebrate the strength our country gains from our cultural diversity, with Open Heart, Open Home. Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove supported Mahboba’s Promise initiative by opening the Admiralty House. “On Harmony Day, it’s fitting that we come together around a table we all share, we all belong at, and we can all call our own,” Lady Cosgrove said. Women from different backgrounds sat down together over an Australian-Afghan lunch to talk, learn and build friendships.
Open Heart, Open Home has proven to be a success as it presents the opportunity for people who normally wouldn’t come into contact with Muslims to interact with them. In times where people try to sow division and conflict within Australian society, Open Heart, Open Home aims to build bridges among the different communities that make up Australia. We aim to do this through open hearts, open communications and inter-cultural, inter-faith learning.
The next Open Heart, Open Home will be hosted by Solicitor Carol Flanagan on 29 April in West Pennant Hills. Others have committed to host Open Heart, Open Home, such as HE Naela Chohan, Pakistan Ambassador to Australia, and the wife of Hon. Ray Williams, Minister of Multiculturalism.
You too can be part of this project, by opening your home and inviting your friends, for a vibrant event of connecting people and encouraging a mutual understanding and appreciation of diversity over lunch or dinner. To open your home or register to attend the next event, contact Mahboba’s Promise at firstname.lastname@example.org.