Warning – This lovely lady WILL blow your mind. Into SMITHEREENS.

Photograph by C.Hamilton
Photograph by C.Hamilton

I came across Naziyah Mahmood a few weeks ago when my buddy Aniqah Zowmi (another awesome person I will be writing about) sent me a link on facebook to her blog. Our conversation went something like this:

Aniqah: Omg. Goals. (link to Naziyah Mahmood’s blog)

Hana: So BLOODY cool! Omg

Aniqah: RIGHT?!

Hana: TOO cool.

And she really is quite an inspiration.

According to her blog, she is an

Aerospace Engineer
Space Mission Analyst
Martial artist (specializing in weaponry – mainly sword work)
Martial arts researcher and weapons collector (licensed!)
Short story writer
Anime, manga, comic enthusiast
Console gamer
Love for all things arty!
Big kid!
Living embodiment of the Cookie Monster!


Let me just give you a moment to take that in. Also, pick up your jaw that just dropped on the floor.

We good? Okay. Let’s continue.

She has also appeared in her friend’s web series, therefore we can add actress to that list.

Photograph by Linda Macpherson. Image from -
Photograph by Linda Macpherson. Image from -

(Check out the facebook page for the web series here!:

Needless to say, she is also drop-dead-gorgeous (mashaAllah!)

Photograph by J. Jamieson
Photograph by J. Jamieson

Her blog is full of her writing. Go check out her beautiful poetry and short stories. You won’t be disappointed.

But mainly, I was impressed with her academic and martial art achievements. (You tend to get a fascination for the martial arts when you grow up watching Jackie Chan movies)

She has worked on Satellite missions in the European Space Agency. She has a Masters in Space Mission Analysis and Design (Aerospace engineering) and a Honors Degree in Physics with Astrophysics.

In her article with  Gareth Davies for the online Welsh Martial Arts Magazine – Community Martial Arts News , Naziyah says something that is very important to me as a Muslim:

” We still have a lot to learn and we are just starting out in the cosmos. Believing in God is not unusual for a scientist. A lot of the great scientists were spiritual or were believers.”

Beautifully said. She makes an important point. In Islam, seeking knowledge is a manifestation of our faith – be it science or theology. And Naziyah Mahmood embodies that aspect of Islam through her versatility and achievements.

The article mentioned above dished a bit on her martial arts experience and expertise. She has dabbled in various forms for around 20 years, ever since she was a kid. For example, Ninjitsu, European fencing, Shotokan Karate, Iaido and Haidong Gumdo.

Naziyah also elaborates on other techniques she has trained in:

Photograph by Fiona Brims
Photograph by Fiona Brims

We’ve trained together in empty hand arts such as Ba gua and Xing Yi (Quan) Aikido,Hapkido, Taekwondo and Tai Chi. Also on the pressure point arts, Dimmak,Fa Jin, Kyusho Jitsu and the internal martial arts; Qigong and Gicheon. For me though, the weapons arts are one that I especially love. I’ve enjoyed working on the Chinese Jian and Dao as well as the Nunchuku and the Korean twin swords.My favourite weapons (to train with) are the Jingum (Korean Steel single edged sword) and the Mokkum (it’s wooden counterpart) but the one sword that is most personal to me is a particular Japanese Katana. I’m a bit of a sword collector and historian. In fact my room is covered with them. My mum hates coming in there as it looks like she’s going into an armoury! I’ve got all sorts of weapons.

Need I say more? 🙂

Level of Awesomeness – Is it even legal to be this amazing?

Say MashaAllah people. Here is a lady who leaves the “oppressed Muslim woman who can’t do anything because of her hijab”  stereotypes in the dust.

A big thank you for Naziyah Mahmood for letting me write about her on this blog! You are truly an inspiration to the rest of us ordinary people.


Her facebook page:

Her blog:

Article by Gareth Davies:

The images used are property of the photographers they are credited to. Please don’t sue me 🙂



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