The Sad Stories of Muslim Women in Pictures

Aid, a body builder, and his mother by Denis Dailleux - via World Press Photo.

My dad has been an avid photographer since I can remember. As a kid I was constantly photographed with a traditional analog camera and black and white film. As a teenager, it was my dad’s passion that led me to learn professional photography through vocational education. Photographs, my dad used to tell me, are a “window” into someone else’s life. This “window” is not necessarily how they see themselves, but how the world around them perceives them.It was not long before I started collecting … [Read more...]

The Women that Need Saving: A Reflection on Lila Abu-Lughod’s “Do Muslim Women Need Saving?”

domuslimwomen

My mother belongs to the Zapotec region of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, Mexico. She is one of the few among my relatives who identifies as “indigenous.” Colonialism in Mexico, and perhaps in many countries in Latin America, was different in that one of the successes of the colonial era was the creation of the caste system and its everlasting effects on indigenous populations. Despite the fact that 200 years have passed since Mexican independence from Spain, I grew up with nationalist discourses that de … [Read more...]

Oh Canada… Not So True or Free

“Oh Canada […] The true north, strong and free.”  – Canadian National Anthem Her eyes met mine sporadically while we stood in the packed subway train in Toronto. It was the month of Ramadan, the month that encourages Muslims to put forth that much more effort – to show sisterhood and warmth to those that we don’t know. There was something about her that made me want to start a conversation. There was an air of unease to her, of feeling out of place, while trying to put the pieces together. I had … [Read more...]

Looking “Pretty”: Muslim Women and the World of Cosmetics

Estee Lauder advertisement

After graduating and finding myself sub-employed in the world of retail, I have had the opportunity to closely explore the cosmetics industry. While in university I acquired my Makeup Artistry certification from a recognized school in Canada because I enjoyed colour and makeup so much. Since I was a child I enjoyed playing with my mom’s cosmetics, and I used to long for the day that I would be allowed to wear lipsticks and eye shadows.Yet, after working so closely in the cosmetics industry, i … [Read more...]

Hijab: A Muslim Woman’s only Achievement?

Source: badassmuslimahs.tumblr.com

As a person who interacts with a Western Muslim community that places great importance in women’s clothing and female modesty, I am rarely surprised by the focus on hijab as the sign of piety. Similarly, I have unfortunately gotten used to the obsession in some Western media with hijabs and black robes as symbols of oppression.  Hijab is everywhere. It is in my mosque, in my community, and in the media. However reading the multitude of recent media stories on hijab over the past few weeks, I was … [Read more...]

Pakistani Sous Chef Fatima Ali on “Chopped”

Fatima Ali. Source: Dawn.com

After spending the past few weeks delving into President Obama's foreign policy strategies, discussing the Rochdale case and surviving steamy temperatures of over 45 degrees Celsius, I was looking forward to covering something upbeat and inspiring. The appearance of Pakistani sous chef Fatima Ali on Chopped, a cooking competition on the Food Network, provided the perfect opportunity. If there's one thing that I can wax poetic about it is food and while this is not about cuisine per se, it … [Read more...]

Which Muslim Women Should Every Person Know?

In a recent article for the Huffington Post, titled "10 Muslim Women Every Person Should Know," Fazeela Siddiqui writes:"[I]n recent years, due to the global socio-political climate, the phrase "Muslim woman" might conjure an image of a demure un-empowered woman sheltered by her burqa. Yet this image is not what our history records or what our present reflects. For example, the current Prime Ministers of Bangladesh (Sheikh Hasina Wazed) and Mali (Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé) are Mu … [Read more...]


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