Meet Yasmin Ali: Cafe Finjan Organizer and Musician

On April 4, 2013 the Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative will hold its 12th annual Cafe Finjan – an evening of Jewish/Muslim artistic expression. Yasmin Ali – a musician and one of the event organizers – talks about Cafe Finjan 2013.

by Max Harkavy
Communications Intern, JCUA

Yasmin and the Slowbots at Cafe Finjan 2012

Yasmin and the Slowbots at Cafe Finjan 2012

Every year, Jews and Muslims from across the Chicagoland area gather to celebrate the growing relationship between the two faiths through artistic expression at Café Finjan.  With performances of all types, Café Finjan never fails to excite, and this year will be no exception.

Yasmin Ali

Yasmin Ali

Yasmin Ali, a Café Finjan volunteer and a performer said, “Not only are we discovering more about our own faiths, but through artistic expression, we find ways to share a positive experience.”

Ali performed with her band, The Slowbots, at last years Café Finjan, which was held on March 20th at Columbia College.  “I actually performed a combination of things,” said Ali.  “I have a band and we focus on fusing our musical upbringings with modern American music,” she said.  Last year’s Café Finjan hosted nearly 200 people.  This time around, they are hoping for even more.

This year’s theme Renaissance: A Reinvention through the Arts, as Café Finjan seeks to reinvent the relationship between Muslims and Jews.  “Café Finjan creates a unique Chicago identity for both Muslims and Jews,” said Ali.  “I think Jews and Muslims in Chicago have been through some hard experiences, but suffering breeds camaraderie.”

Cafe Finjan 2013 Links:

Café Finjan attempts to build upon these tough experiences by reinforcing them with positive artistic expression from both religious communities.

“I find that a shared experience creates a unique bond between different groups of people, and that’s exactly what we are shooting for with Café Finjan,” said Ali.  “[Café Finjan] helped me realize that people can have completely different upbringings and still be just like me.”

By focusing on the arts, Café Finjan wants to show members of both communities that despite their differences, there are still so many similarities to celebrate.

Cafe Finjan 2013:

6:00pm, Thursday, April 4, 2013

American Islamic College
640 West Irving Park Road, Chicago

$5 Suggested Donation

Get full details here.

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