AMARA MAJEED – AWESOME MUSLIM #5

I thought I knew Amara.

Boy was I wrong!

Amara is an American Muslim who is from Sri Lanka (Like me! Yay!). She JUST turned 18 but she has an impressive list of accomplishments like you won’t imagine.

Writing about these amazing individuals, I am constantly amazed by how driven and passionate they are. And Amara Majeed is a prime example.

I think that if there’s one word to describe myself, it would be passionate. I tend to fall in love with ideologies and activism to a point where I get extremely emotionally invested in whatever it is that I’m attempting to accomplish. I’m only 18, and while I’m still trying to unravel my identity and who I am exactly, I sincerely hope that my passion for what I support and believe in will always exist.

This passion has allowed her to accomplish so many wonderful things. Her family must be so proud of her. Who wouldn’t be?!

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She is the epitome of a Muslim activist and feminist, having her work published through many outlets such as CNN,Bustle, The Bosnia Times, X Culture Magazine, The Belfast Telegraph, Iran English Radio, and Clutch Magazine, just to name a few.

Wow! CNN! That’s an amazing accomplishment right there.

Amara isn’t one to shy away from controversial topics. She is brave enough to address them head on.

You can check out a few of her publications here:

For CNN

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1204895

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1181057

Other articles on her:

amara

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/amara-majeed-/fair-skin-beauty-standards_b_6629334.html

http://www.bustle.com/articles/25366-i-am-a-17-year-old-muslim-and-this-is-what-islamophobia-feels-like-to-me

Her articles have been viewed thousands of times because of how well-written and sincere she is in what she’s trying to get across. The recognition she has achieved for her work is well-deserved.

She is the author of The Foreigners, a book written in an attempt to eradicate stereotypes about Muslims. I wrote a short post about the book here: https://hippiehijabi.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/the-foreigners-by-amara-majeed/. Please check it out to learn more about it. Her page is full of comments by readers whose perspectives have been changed because of the book. So it’s definitely worth a read!

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At the tender age of 16, she founded “The Hijab Project,” a global initiative that promotes the understanding and empowerment of Muslim women through social experimentation.

The Hijab Project is a social experiment that I’d like girls—both Muslim and non-Muslim—to begin. Try on your own headscarf to school, the mall or other public place, and observe the reactions that people give you. Are you looked at differently? Do people treat you differently? Then, share your experience here! If you currently wear a hijab, tell us your hijab story.

In fact, Global News is in the process of creating a segment on the project. How cool is that! I wish it had been released by now, but I will post it as soon as it becomes available. The website has truly incredible stories from women all over the world. The amount of submissions, as well as the media interest in the project can give you a hint of the success of the Hijab Project.

She is wise beyond her years, just read this excerpt from one of her interviews. It made me stop and reflect:

Youth is extremely important when taking an initiative; think of it like this: If a 2-year old knows how to read, then this is considered to be extremely impressive. If a 7-year old knows how to read, that’s considered ordinary and expected. Similarly, if a 14-year old does something really ambitious, such as creating a donation foundation, writing a novel, or designing their own clothing line, this is considered exceptional. However, if a 21-year old does this, it becomes slightly less exceptional, and if a 43- year does this, it becomes almost unremarkable; ordinary, expected.  What am I trying to tell you? As we age, it becomes increasingly difficult to be exceptional. Our youth is valuable. Take advantage of it before it slips by [that is, if you’re fortunate enough have it slip by. Nobody is guaranteed old age.

Beautifully said Amara 🙂 This should be one of those inspirational quotes people hang up on their walls or post online. You know what. I should do exactly that!

When asked about her accomplishments, Amara said:

It’s interesting because many people assume that my greatest accomplishments are the tangible ones–the book, an official citation for The Hijab Project, etc. But for me, my greatest accomplishments are the experiences that have contributed to the development of my character. For instance, while writing the book, I had this exceptional opportunity of getting to truly understand and empathize with so many outstanding individuals from across the globe–I had the experience of earning their trust, of being gifted with their secrets. The entire journey of writing the book really helped me understand and appreciate the diversity of the human experience. In addition to this, through my various projects I have the pleasure of communicating with so many outstandingly empowering and inspirational women from around the world–they tell me about how scary it is to live in Afghanistan, the lack of women’s education in their country, and what it’s like to fall in love.

 So many feels. I’m so floored by this amazing individual at this point. I don’t think this article does justice to the extent of awesomeness of this talented young lady.

I started developing my projects when I was 14, when I first started wearing the hijab. Donning this piece of cloth over my head introduced so many new perspectives and ideas to me; it taught me about feminism, the struggle for gender equality in the Middle East, and what it means to be true to one’s identity. Wearing the hijab prompted me to start The Hijab Project, which really served as a crucial gateway to my writing as well as my other projects. I’m happy to say that my first major televised interview will air on Global News soon!

At 14 you guys! 14! I was doing nothing of consequence when I was 14. Kudos to you Amara! MashaAllah! 🙂

I only wish more and more success for Amara. I also want to thank her for the avenues she has opened up for me [through publishing my story in her book as well as having a part in the interview]. I also want to thank my friend Aniqah (Awesome Muslim #4!) for introducing me to her!

You are such an inspiration to us all! Keep on changing lives wherever you go. I have absolutely no doubt that Amara will achieve whatever goals she sets her heart on.

Thank you for your time and participation in my interview 🙂

You can follow Amara here – https://www.facebook.com/amara.maj

You can buy her book here – http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0692260935?keywords=amara%20majeed&qid=1429482242&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

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