When I took on this story about Muslim women taking a self-defence class, I wasn't sure I had ever seen Muslim women threatened in our city (Toronto). I was curious about how often this happens and how it happens. It didn't take long before I learned.
Early in the morning, we filmed Arij Elmi on her way to teach the class. She was taking the streetcar from one of Toronto's busiest corners. Even in the crowded streets a man singled her out and approached her as we were filming. He seemed to be talking to her, harassing her maybe? We waited and watched as she calmly responded to him. Although nothing serious happened, it was instructive to see Arij in action. But that was just the beginning.
In her class, the group of female Muslim participants opened up about their difficult experiences. By the end of the day, after hours of discussion and empowering exercises, I was really impressed by how changed the women were. I'd changed too.
Yvette Lang, Director
Yvette Lang is a documentary writer and director working in Toronto. For over 15 years she has worked on a wide range of documentary projects for CBC, CTV, Discovery Channel and HGTV. Recently Yvette produced stories for "Canada: The Story of Us" which will air in late March on CBC.
Keeping Canada Safe airs Thursdays 9/9:30 NT