Shamsia Fallen , 32 years old
She moved from Kenya to US with her husband in 2005. Shamsia decided to drive the traveling buses around the state because of her passion for driving and it gives her the chance to meet different people and visit different cities.
“It’s such a thing for me to combines between my two favourite hoppy, driving and traveling”. When I got divorced in 2011 I started this job. It helped me to get away and have time to myself especially I was alone and don’t have any family members here.” Shamsia said
It was not easy to get the job because she had no working experience in any company. Since she started in the first place it was easy for her to move for another place.
At the beginning of her work she was traveling more to different states but now she settled and drives from NYC to DC or Virginia.
“Driving is something I love it as a hoppy and I don’t plan to continue on this job the rest of my life. I hope one day to back again to the nursing school.” Shamsia said
Nailah Lymus , 35 years old
Clothing and accessories designer
She is the C.E.O of Amirah Creation company for designing clothes and accessories , the Under Wraps agency for modelling.
Nailah was selected this year as one of the most 25 influential American muslim. She believe in modesty not only for muslim women but for everyone. Educate people bout Islam through fashion. Her mission to show how beautiful modesty can be in the fashion industry.
She started her passion to design when she was 17 years old in the high school in a fashion club. At the end of the year they have a fashion show and it was a surprise for her that some of the parents of the students came and asked if they can buy some pieces . It was a big deal for me , it was just a hoppy. She was never had a formal lessons how to use the sewing machine but she used to see her parents sewing at home. Later she started to learn more about business and improver her design scales.
In 2004 she started her design company and in 2013 she established the first muslim modest female modelling agency in US. At the same year she was part of the NYC fashion week.
“Oh wow you are a really muslim. I got this some times from clients. You are in this business and you are really covered up.” Nailah said. It happens when I do wardrobe styling because sometimes I do commercials and music videos and when I get there almost always no-one knows I am the person of charge to the job. They thing I am delivering the food and it just so funny and I set there and watch them coming to me to choose the cloth.”
Zahra Cheema , 28 years old
She started her own firm specializing in immigration and family law in 2015. Also she just started to do a police brutality
“I would say roughly there is only a 20 lawyer wearing a headscarf in NYC. I have been in situations where I am well qualified to the position but I don’t get the job. On these situations I feel the only reason I was not chosen was perhaps the hijab.” Zara said
Zahra was one of the volunteer lawyers who poured into JFK airport to help those detained after Trump announced the travel ban order , barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
“In the privet sector most of the lawyers are men. You have to work extra hard to improve yourself to get the same kind of respect” Zara said
She is one of the organizer of MusCare group which started in 2016 to help Muslims get jobs. In the wake of Trump and all the things are happing politicly , it was more difficult for muslims to get jobs. A lot of people were facing situations where they were interviewing for job and job and not receiving them because they are openly muslims. The group helped to put them in contact with people who can help. Also organize spaces where they can meet for chat and play basketball.
Fayroz Saad , 35 years old
She is the Democratic candidate for the 11th congress district seat in Michigan in 2018 . If she win , she will be the first muslim female to serve in the house of representative. Fayrouz began her career as a field organizer for the Kerry campaign, working in the district she now wants to represent.
She worked in different levels in the government and served in Obama administration at the department of Homeland security , where she worked to strengthen community policing efforts in the fight against terrorist, protect state and local critical infrastructure.
In 2015 , Fayrouz became the first director of Detroit’s office if immigrant affairs under Mayor Mike Duggan , where she helped immigrants integrate into the city , find jobs and start businesses.
Fayrouz came from an immigrant family where her Lebanese parents came to US 40 years ago and started a small hotel business. They succeded to raise her among other 5 kids.
Black List group
Sawdatou Drame , Sabah Mukhtar, Jannah Assad and Fatimah Hasan are part of the black list group which established last year from young black Muslim students in Washington, DC.
The Black List is a group meant to provide a safe space for Black Muslim youth from DC, Maryland, Virginia and surrounding areas. To empower them by providing information and tools to help engender self love. They plan on achieving this mission through Islam, knowledge seeking, and open discussions.
“What has propelled us to start this initiative is the racial discrimination Black Muslims experience within the larger Muslim community. “ Sawdatou said
It is concerning that Black Muslims still struggle to find themselves on equal footing with their non-Black Muslim counterparts.The tendency to focus on the narrative of non-Black immigrants and their assimilation into American culture, at the expense of addressing racial justice, excludes many Black Muslims and leaves them feeling alienated within their own communities.These discrepancies not only need to be highlighted, but also fixed.
Linda Sarsour , 38 years old
She is the national co-chair of the Women’s march in 2016 and was one of the three co-leaders , which is considered as a largest single day demonstration in US history. She is the former executive director of the Arab American Muslim Association. Linda started to be activist after the tragic events of 9/11.
“It was the first time as a Palestinian muslim American feels a specific direct oppression against myself and my community . To realised it was not safe to be a muslim in America.” Linda said
She has gained attention for protesting the police surveillance of muslim Americans after 9/11. She played a big role until the Muslim religious holidays have been recognised in the New York public school system in 2015.
Hanan Selim , 26 years old
She is a resident doctor in a public hospital in Brooklyn, NY. She plans to work in a clinic with a privet doctor after she finish her resident year to get experience before moving to her mother’s clinic.
Hanan’s widow mother was a very strong influence for her to be a dentist. Her mother took the responsibly to raise two kids after her husband passed away when Hanan was 12 years old.
She used to visit her mother in the clinic when she was a kid. She love to use her hands to build stuff and that why she loved to be a dentist because it’s a creative job for her.
Hanan started a charity work with her colleagues in the school to do a a free oral health screening in public places like churches and mosques. They given a voucher to the patient to go to the school and examine their teeth beside get tooth brushes. After she graduated she continued do that same thing.
Hanan’s love to do a modelling work beside her job for a hijabi or makeup companies.
Chaplin , personal shopping and esthetician
She been doing a charity work over 20 years but she got a Chaplin’s licence in 2015. “When you say you are a Chaplin it means more and people listen to you. I want to do what I can and sometimes where it’s a hospital , nursing home or Islamic center , they don’t give you the ears or permission to do things. You are not allowed to help because you are a regular person. ” Rawan said
Since she was young she was helping her mother at home to raise her younger six siblings especially after her mother got divorced and they lost their home in a fire. She was just turned 19 years old.
“Life was tough but it’s opened my eyes to look to other muslims in our community who have been in the same situation and start to help them as mush as I could.” Rawan said .Me being the oldest and doing a lot and seeing a lot made me empathise with others and I want to help. You can help not only by money but giving shoulders , listing or directing people.
She have a dream to establish a community center to help the muslim teenagers who suffering from trouble like be on drugs or girls who are running away from their homes. where they can come and find people to listen and help. A place where they can join art classes or play games.
Shabana Patel , 36 years old
Real Estate salesperson
She is working in one of the biggest Islamic mortgage companies in US which have a branches in 29 states. Shabana have been selected this year as one of the best 10 employees in her company. She started to work in this company two year ago.
Everyday after she finish her work at 2 or 3 pm , she run to pick up her two kids from the school. Back home to cook the dinner and get some rest for couple hours before she drive her kids again to the Quran school in one of the neighbour mosques. She is doing this twice a week but get a chance to switch with a friend who have kids at the same class. If Shabana is late in her work , a friend lives in front of the school host her kids until she back.
“My mom not happy that I don’t get rest but I love my life. I know it’s a lot of responsibility and i work hard to keep everything perfect. I love my work and I am happy to find a job with a flexible working hours so I can still have time to take care of my kids.” Shabana said
Amani Mhady , 33 year old
NYPD police officer
She is one of a few female muslim officers who is wearing a headscarf and serving in NYPD. Amani is an American Yemeni officer who have been born and raised in NYC. She started her job 3 years ago in the Auxiliary police office.
“I received sometime a phone calls from a yemeni ladies to ask for her help if they have a fight with their husbands.” Amani said
The number of Arab- American and Muslim police officers in New York City has increased dramatically since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, but trust remains the biggest obstacle in improving relations between the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the city’s Muslim population, officials and residents said. There is almost 1000 muslim police officer are serving in NY Police Department.