Young Muslim women you should definitely know about
These women are doing remarkable things in spite of the general bias against Muslim and Islam.
However, there are some who stand out more than the rest because their struggle is different.
In an era, where Islamophobia is at one of its highest points in history with an American president that is clearly anti-Muslim, these women are still able to ignore the bias and do their best to shatter stereotypes.
Here are six young Muslim women you need to know about.
1. Saufeeya Goodson: This young lady is breaking the stereotype that you can not be modest and stylish at the same time. Using various platforms, her blog and Instagram included, this 23-year-old is showing that it is possible to be both, even with a hijab.
Her goal is to use visual presentation to fight and change the discrimination of the hijab, Aquila Style reports. In her words, "What interests me the most is the power that comes with visual presentation. It speaks volumes [with] colours, shapes, angles, poses, places and the quality of the subject. Understand the purpose and reasoning behind the hijab. Grow in knowledge, know that the hijab isn’t just a headpiece and modest clothing, it goes further and beyond all that. Hijab is the way you act, the way you speak, the way you carry yourself and so much more!”
This has led to her being featured in big publications, like Vogue and Teen Vogue. The Dubai-based Fashion blogger co-runs @modestroute, formerly known as hijabfashion on Instagram. It has amassed 2.9M followers.
2. Blair Imani: She is an activist and feminist doing her best to battle the hate against Muslims and people in general. Recently, she opened up about her experience after converting to Islam two years ago and being ‘queer.’ She said, “In 2015, I converted to Islam and quickly learned about the discrimination Muslims have been facing first hand. As I began to wear hijab, my visibility as Muslim women seemed to invite harassment. A lot of people assume that I’m homophobic, or that queer Muslims could not and did not exist. I do exist.”
Now, this millennial is fighting to ensure that Black, Muslim women and people, in general, are treated fairly. She does this through Equality for HER, an NGO for feminine identifying individuals of which she is the founder and Executive Director of.
She is also the Civic Action & Campaign Lead at DoSomething.org and a Press Officer at Planned Parenthood. She contributes to Huffington Post, VICE and others.
3. Lamyaa Hanchaoui: She is a British-Moroccan spoken word artist, self-taught painter, human rights and mental health activist. As a human rights activist, she volunteers at the Human Relief Foundation.
She was thrust into the spotlight when a powerful video of her poem surfaced online. The poem, ‘Dont Give up,’ is a motivational piece that encourages young Muslims to hold on in the face of adversity.
This 22-year-old is currently studying for her BA (Hons) in International Relations at the University of Westminster in London, United Kingdom. According to her Facebook page, she is also a research intern at Race on the Agenda — ROTA, an organisation that focuses on inequality and other issues concerning Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
4. Halima Aden: This young is just as inspiring as the others on this list. Like Saufeeya Goodson, her battlefield is the fashion and beauty industry. Here, she seeks to destroy stereotypes, particularly those concerning the hijab. This earned the 19-year-old the world’s first hijab-wearing Muslim model title. Despite this big deal, Aden is not slowing down anytime.
According to her interview with Vogue, the Somali-American Muslim teen hopes to be a role model for American Muslim youth, work with UNICEF and seeing the restoration of Somalia.
In her words, “Every little girl deserves to see a role model that’s dressed like her, resembles her, or even has the same characteristics as her. My grandmother, who lives there, thinks it’s wishful thinking. But I believe it can happen.”
5. Maryam Bukar Hassan: You guys know we couldn't make a list without adding at least one of our own, right? Thus, we are giving you a double dose of our Nigerian awesomeness. First, we have Maryam, a poet and motivational speaker.
Maryam is a unique 20-year-old with a heart of gold that comes through in her activist work. She also cares about ensuring that people understand that Islam is a religion of peace, not violence like it is often painted to be. Maryam creates this awareness through Deen At heart and social media.
She recently performed an inspiring poem at the inaugural edition of Kaduna Book and Arts Festival (KABAFEST 2017). Maryam is the only daughter of Kannywood actress, Hauwa Maina and a newlywed.
6. Haneefah Adam: Haneef is the second Nigerian on the list. She is a medical scientist and lifestyle blogger. She is an exceptional visual artist, who uses food to make art that reflects our rich culture.
In 2016, her works gained a lot of media attention after she submitted some food art photos for the #TechMeetsArtNG competition, sponsored by Samsung Mobile Nigeria and Rele Gallery.
That same year, she caught the eye of CNN, BBC, Mic, Huffington Post and almost every other media heavyweight with her Barbie Doll's makeover.
While she is not an activist like others on this list, no one can deny how exceptional she is.
Kudos to these young ladies for standing out in their individual fields.
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