Staff Showcase – Alyaa Ebbiary
31 / 03 / 21
03 / 08 / 20
Your name and job title: Daisy King, Programmes Officer, West Midlands
What made you initially interested in interfaith work?
An inspirational A-level teacher who taught a module on it. We visited places of worship I’d never visited before and we went on a trip to London for a Faith and Belief Forum workshop comparing scriptures. I loved meeting new people and people who were different from me.
Why do you feel it’s still required in our world? What motivates you?
When people who are different come together and share experiences, the world becomes a more welcoming, inclusive place to live in. Differences between people have been used to segregate and discriminate but this job reclaims the importance of difference and promotes it, creating space for people to learn from each other and challenge negative narratives. I am motivated by bringing people together and facilitating these conversations, sharing what is important to us and celebrating our uniqueness.
How did you first hear about F&BF?
My college trip to London. I then went on to be a volunteer school speaker years later after recognising the organisation.
How would you explain what you do to someone completely unfamiliar with our work, and what is your favourite aspect of your job?
I mainly work on the Walsall Community Dialogue Project which involves bringing different communities together to meet new people and share stories. I love this part of my job because it sounds like I just chat to people and drink tea… which is pretty accurate! Meeting different people and listening to their stories is interesting, and I enjoy watching people connect with each other. There aren’t often opportunities to meet people who are different from you and people on the project have valued the space to do this – these conversations have been particularly powerful when they help to challenge misconceptions about certain identities and groups and this is when I love my job the most!
What is the most common misconception about your job? And what is the truth?
A common misconception is that the Faith and Belief Forum only work with people of faith. This then becomes more confusing when I say I am a non-religious person. We engage in interfaith with all faith groups and non-religious groups because dialogue should be inclusive.
What didn’t you realise about interfaith until working at F&BF?
How diverse the work around interfaith is and how much value it brings to people who wouldn’t otherwise meet others who are different from them. Creating the space for people to engage is so powerful, and it’s been brilliant to experience this through the work I’ve been involved with.
What are you most proud of during your time here at F&BF?
I am still quite new to the organisation so am learning the ropes but I am most proud of the response we’ve had from those who have participated in our Walsall Community Dialogue Project so far. The willingness of people to go out of their comfort zones to meet new people and talk about their identities has been really inspirational. I have enjoyed watching people’s confidence grow as I’ve facilitated activities and am glad the sessions have been so well received.
What floats your boat outside of work?
I love going to comedy gigs and playing board games. During lockdown, this has involved watching a lot of comedy shows, attempting to play games over Skype with my family and stocking up on two player games to be played in lockdown.