Introducing Nicole

Introducing Nicole January 29, 2010

Editor’s Note:

Salam waleykum, readers!

I’m traveling this week, and haven’t had much access to internet (you’ve probably noticed if you’ve tried to submit a comment…), so I haven’t been able to put together a Friday Links this week.

But instead, I’ll leave you with a new face at MMW to get to know! Until next week, friends! – Fatemeh

Raised outside of New Orleans, I started learning French at an early age and used my language skills as my ticket out of town, first stopping in Quebec when I was 17 before moving on to France and Belgium. I came back to the U.S. and in between trips around the world found a way to get a BA in International Studies from the Croft Institute at the University of Mississippi. During one of my extended stays abroad, I met a Franco-Algerian in Paris who I eventually married and with whom I moved to Switzerland where I have spent the past five years, first in Zurich and now in Lausanne. 2010 is a year of big change for me!

I converted to Islam in 2000. I’m still the same girl I always was, your typical free-spirit American convert, and I won’t preach at you. We’re all just wayfarers, so I try to cut people as much slack as I would like in return. Few of us in our time are specialists in religion, yet increasingly we are called to represent Islam even when we have little knowledge. As such, I firmly believe three things about my religion: 1. You use it to check yourself; once you have that on lock, 2. you make other Muslims happy to be Muslim and happy to know you; and finally, 3. You make people who aren’t Muslim at worst think “gee, that kooky Muslim chick is kinda cool” and at best “wow, being Muslim is awesome.”

I have several years blogging under a pseudonym and guest/group blogging in French and English, most recently in 2009 at the Lausanne Bondy Blog. As a blogger, my interests span from makeup to European politics, from Islam to social media, from Switzerland to SEC college football. At Muslimah Media Watch, I hope to focus on media issues affecting Muslim women in Switzerland and Europe although I may raise some Algerian or technology issues relating to Muslim women where I feel my input is appropriate.

In real life, I work in the legal field. Where my professional and personal lives collide is that I also have a particular interest in IP and general legal issues in the digital age. I am part of the small Swiss tech/social media community and as such participate as a blogger in local and European events such as LeWeb 09. Blogs, and social media in general, offer people like me- strangers in a strange land- the opportunity to find a place to “fit in.” I am very excited to be blogging in English again at Muslimah Media Watch!

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