Nijmegian Nazima will participate in board of Villa Lila!
Fotographer: Dennis Weitering
”A great honor” says Nazima Shaikh-Sahebdin (34), Director of ShaikhMela Communications “that I may sit in the board of Villa Lila. ‘High Profile’ for me as a manager with room for my creative non-conformist side. Together we will fight visible for ‘the good case’”. “She was elected unanimously by the Board of Villa Lila. Not only because of the strength of us as directors, but especially because of her background and her experience, allowing her to bring an additional perspective and a wealth of knowledge and skills involved” says Niels Spierings (25) Secretary of the Board. Villa Lila is foundation of control of the Gay House in Nijmegen located at the In de Betouwstraat. Both parties think of each other as more valuable and in this way they can reinforce each other. The Villa is a safe haven for sexual diversity. It is also a breeding ground, a meeting place for people with various backgrounds. Religious diversity and ethnic diversity and the encounter between cultures is of great importance.
Spierings was a guest in the former radio program of Nijmegen1, Nazimasworld, in which he told about the International Day against homophobia. About gay-emancipation, Islam and the media. “A growing percentage of the newspaper articles about gays makes a connection with Muslims. The problem laid by ‘the Muslims’. ‘Islam’ is seen as a block in which there is no diversity, and gays are used as a stick to beat up the Muslims. Nazima and Niels, shared the conclusion that the answer on this is the cooperation of many parties, including Villa Lila and ShaikhMela Communications!
Shaikh-Sahebdin has a Surinamese-Hindustan mother and Pakistani father. She was born in Amsterdam and is an active Nijmegian. “This is my home country and the city of Nijmegen is my hometown. The feeling when you drive over the Waalbridge into Nijmegen each Nijmegian recognizes, it is so wonderful to be back home in our city.” She is director of a cultural and social enterprise. An information and communication diversity brokerage. Shaikh is her maiden name and Mela (read Méla) is ‘meeting’ in the Hindi-Urdu. The company vision is: ‘From practice to policy’. By that I mean that we make policy with, through and for people.
With ShaikhMela Communications I want to inform correctly and communicate as a sharp professional with specialist expertise. Nazima is women, hetero, mother of 2 girls, married and Muslim. She feels connected to the 'gay scene'. “By making contact and friendships I have gained new friends and acquaintances. As a social entrepreneur, I am a bit worried about the gays that live in a we-culture in our little country.
I believe there is no proper care for the men and women who have inherited so naturally from their culture and religion that being gay, lesbian are bisexual is not allowed and not possible. That is probably an important cause of severe identity crisis in which people can come. Therefore it is important to appoint and reflect at the experience and emotion in this.”