In 2017, I started teaching a small university community course for Muslim girls and women. After years of thinking that someone else was going to fix the false representations of Muslim women as oppressed, backwards and uneducated, I had a pivotal moment that changed the course of my life. I saw my five year old daughter's face as we ate Filet-o-Fish burgers at our neighbourhood McDonalds, and we were sandwiched in between two groups of high school students bashing Muslim girls. This moment, coupled with that fact that I had a Master's Degree in Justice, Law & Ethics in Education: Curriculum and Instruction; and had been hearing the countless stories of Islamophobia from my high school and university students empowered me to be the change I wished to see in the world.
I created a digital storytelling and community building course called Voices of Muslim Women in 2017, which evolved into a registered non profit; and now in 2021 is a global virtual sisterhood with a mission to connect, inspire, empower and celebrate Muslim women around the world. My hope is that it will create spaces that meets the needs of young Muslim women and girls, like my daughter, and will be the catalyst to change the representations and connotations of 'Muslim women' to be empowered, confident and diverse industry leaders.
My dream is for young Muslim women and girls to be proud of their Muslim identity and to use their authentic Muslim narratives and complex identities as a powerful source of positivity for themselves to live big and lead now.