Human Rights Through Cinematography festival: ‘Casablanca Calling’

Women’s empowerment was the focus of ‘Casablanca Calling,’ a film that tells the story of a quiet social revolution in Morocco. In a country where 60 percent of women have never been to school, a new generation of women have started work as official Muslim preachers, or Morchidat. ‘Casablanca Calling’ is an intimate portrait of three Morchidat in a society in transition.

The Morchidat work in some of the poorest communities in Morocco and try to separate the true teachings of Islam from prejudice and misunderstanding. They support girls’ education, campaign against early marriage and encourage young people to build a better Morocco rather than dreaming of a life in the West.

The Embassy of Netherlands supported the screening of ‘Casablanca Calling’ at the United Nations Information Centre in Islamabad on November 28.

The panel discussion that followed explored how religion could be used to bring about social change and to ensure that women are empowered. Waqas Rafique from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Maha Makhdoom from PTV World engaged Sidra Rafique of the Renaissance Foundation for Social Innovation and the Acting Ambassador of the Netherlands Paul Menkveld in a discussion.