My heart is overflowing to be honored in this incredible list of Muslim women who are changing politics and culture. I’m so grateful that Muslim Girl founder Amani Al-Khatahtbeh gave us Muslim Women’s Day, a chance to raise our voices together like we do individually every day. Check out these other amazing women, including Ilhan Omar, Minnesota State Representative and the first Somali-American legislator in the United States; human rights attorney Azadeh Shashahani who fights for us in the courts; Zarah Billoo who runs the CAIR in the Bay Area; fashion designer Ayana Ife who makes us look good; Mona Haydar, the Syrian American poet and rapper, and so many more. We all do better when we lift each other up.
As the MuslimGirl.com team reflects on 2017, it means rehashing some truly stressful moments for Muslim women.
We lived through he who shall not be named being sworn into office, watched others try to either normalize or deconstruct hate and rape culture, and witnessed White supremacy rekindle on a national stage.
At the same time, it’s impossible to look back on the year without recognizing that, either in response to or alongside all the negativity, Muslim women spanning different industries and backgrounds reemerged as some of the most positive hallmarks of the year.
Muslim women not only stood proud and unshakeable through the eye of the storm, but also became torchbearers leading our society forward through the darkness. Their innovation, grit, and leadership is no surprise to us, but deserves to be celebrated all the same. The women on this list lead by example that we are here and we aren’t going anywhere.
Here are 18 women that made a difference in 2017 and should be on your radar for 2018.