Hana Assafiri releases memoir, HANA: The audacity to be free

Hana Assafiri releases memoir, HANA: The audacity to be free

Known for her impact on social change and women’s empowerment, Hana Assafiri, owner of beloved Moroccan Soup Bar, has launched her latest endeavour – a powerful memoir titled, HANA: The audacity to be free.

In her memoir, Ms Assafiri explores innovative approaches to fostering stronger, more inclusive communities; a mission she has tirelessly championed both personally and professionally.

At the heart of her transformative work lies the Moroccan Soup Bar – an iconic institution now nestled in North Melbourne following a 25-year legacy in North Fitzroy.

Her continued work at the Moroccan Soup Bar provides employment for marginalised women and serves as an example of the power of “intersectional activism” in fighting violence against women.

“I worked in women’s domestic violence crisis services and also saw the shortcomings of those services due to limited funding and lack of understanding and commitment from governments,” Ms Assafiri told North West City News.

“I set up the Moroccan Soup Bar and offered the hospitality and quirky, peculiar platforms and spaces that can reimagine how we can do better and how we can grow better communities around the vision of humanity.”

HANA: The audacity to be free, is Ms Assafiri’s latest project in the space of women empowerment and social change, which she hopes will offer alternative perspectives and solutions to the challenges facing women today, informed by her own experiences of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

“What’s sad is that we find ourselves living during a time where we are beginning to erode some of the hard-fought gains that women have made over the decades, and we are beginning to see some of the repealing of things like abortion and conversations around religious freedoms and how they impact women,” she said.

“In a world so polarised and divided, I felt in the absence of nuance, it was important to contribute in a small way – in a way that can help us reimagine what women’s freedom actually looks like beyond the conversations that are happening around coercion and bullying and violence and abuse and murders.”

As she embarks on a new chapter in North Melbourne, Ms Assafiri eagerly anticipates the opportunity to engage with and embrace the diverse communities in the area, with the transition serving as a reaffirmation of her commitment to fostering inclusivity and understanding.

“We all have a role to play, and our role comes with the responsibility and the privileges that we hold in society. It’s not an attack, it’s an invitation to do better.”

HANA: The audacity to be free is available online •

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