North America

Rana Abdelhamid

Date of Birth: Unknown

Place of Birth: New York

Rana Abdelhamid is the founder of Hijabis of New York, a spinoff of the popular Facebook photo journal Humans of New York. She takes photos of women who are Muslim and includes a short snippet from an interview with them as the caption. She wants to humanize Muslims in the public eye as well as give more variety to the narratives of what a Muslim person is actually like. She also helped found WISE or the women’s initiative for self-empowerment. The inspiration for WISE came from when she was attacked in the street by an adult man trying to remove her hijab when she was 16. She encountered many obstacles getting started but eventually created the organization which now teaches self-defense, entrepreneurship, and leadership to young women and has spread from its roots in New York to other cities, states, and internationally.


Blumberg, A. (2016, Dec 12). 17 Muslim American women who made America great in  2016. Retrieved from      

Sarabia, A. (2016, Feb 4). Meet the women of ‘Hijabis of New York’. Retrieved from

(2019, April 16). Rana Abdelhamid. Retrieved from

Huma Abedin

Date of Birth: July 28th, 1976

Place of Birth: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Huma Abedin served as an aid to Hillary Clinton for many years. She started working in the White House as an aid in 1996, as well as working as an editor for The Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. Her work for the journal ended in 2008, but she continued to work in politics. She officially became an aid and personal advisor when Hillary Clinton ran for the Senate in 2000 and when she ran for president in 2008 and 2016. In 2012 several republicans published a smear-campaign against Huma Abedin, claiming her immediate family members were part of Muslim extremist groups. The claims were immediately disproven and members of both sides of the political spectrum came to her defense saying the claims were baseless.


Jeffries, S. (2015, Dec 8). The Muslims Who Shaped America-From Brain Surgeons to Rappers. Retrieved from

(2019,March 20). Huma Abedin. Retrieved from

Nura Afia

Date of Birth: February 9th, 1993

Place of Birth: Colorado, USA

Nura Afia is the first brand ambassador of Covergirl cosmetics who wears a hijab. She first got into the spotlight when she created her youtube channel making makeup and fashion videos in 2011 when she was a stay-at-home-mom taking care of her daughter. Since then she has gained thousands of followers on multiple platforms. Overall she has the support of many Muslim young women who seek to express themselves through fashion and makeup, but she also has received some criticism by wearing a hijab for modesty but “seeking attention” by wearing makeup. Regardless of what her critics think, her ad was shown in time square, on billboards, and in commercials that promoted diversity in the fashion industry and commercial representation as a whole. She’s showing the hijab in a positive light and can be a role model to young Muslim girls in America.


Blumberg, A. (2016, Dec 12). 17 Muslim American women who made America great in 2016. Retrieved from

(2019, Mar 4). Nura Afia. Retrieved from

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

Date of Birth: May 6th, 1992

Place of Birth: New Jersey, USA

Creator of, this Muslim-American was tired of the accusations of not being “American” enough, being a member of Isis, or just generally feeling unsafe outside of her home. She wanted to be able to share her voice, as well as to give Muslim women around her a chance to do so. Her platform allows women to speak about their experiences, gender stigmas, fashion, foreign policy, representation, and other issues. The website she created is written by millennials, for millennials through an Islamic lens. She created the platform in high school, and six years later she became the first veiled Muslim woman to make it to Forbes 30 Under 30. Her website was also the first Islamic company to be included on the list. Today continues to be a hub for Muslim related news, stories, interviews, and opinion pieces.


(2019, March 4). Amani Al-Khatahtbeh. Retrieved from

(2018). #MuslimGirl. Retrieved from

Burke, D & Styx, M.(2018) 25 Influential American Muslims. Retrieved from

Blumberg, A. (2016, Dec 12). 17 Muslim American women who made America great in 2016. Retrieved from

Laleh Bakhtiar

Date of Birth: July 29th, 1938

Place of Birth: New York City, New York

A prominent Muslim clinical psychologist, author, and translator, Laleh Bakhtiar actually grew up catholic. She moved with her husband and children to Iran when she was 24 where she began studying Islam and Arabic. She converted to Islam and began to translate as well as write books about the religion with a female perspective and with a specific focus on Sufism. She was the first American woman to translate the Quran into English. Some of her translation choices have been seen as ways to bridge understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim people, with the word commonly termed as “non-believers” or “infidels” instead of being translated as “those who are ungrateful”. Additionally, a passage that has previously been translated to tell a story about a man beating his ungrateful wife, she instead translates it to him telling the wife to go away. She also has stopped wearing a headscarf because she believes that as a person in America it promotes more attention rather than modesty. Overall, she feels she promotes Islamic traditions in a more progressive, American, woman-friendly way.


Ali, S. (2017, Dec 7). 10 American Muslim Women You Should Know. Retrieved from

(2019, March 19). Laleh Bakhtiar. Retrieved from 

Bakhtiar, L. Biography. Retrieved from

Maria Ebrahimji

Date of Birth: October 16th, 1976

Place of Birth: Georgia, USA 

Maria Ebrahimji is a woman with a wide reach. She works as the Director and Executive Editorial Producer for Network Booking at CNN. There she does news coverage planning, guest planning, and information gathering for the station. She has won several awards including the NABJ Award of Excellence in the Television-Public Affairs Program for some of her work on the show “CNN Connects: The New South Africa. She has also worked on shows such as “Your World Today”, “Q&A”, “Diplomatic License”, and “Inside Africa”. Some of her work centering on the Muslim community includes being a co-editor for an anthology of over 40 essays written by Muslim women titled, I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim. She has also co-founded the publishing company I Speak for Myself Inc. This company focuses on publishing narratives on issues that span across faith and cultural issues in a variety of media formats. Her work overall aims to allow her a voice and give a voice to others in order to bridge understanding on all fronts and decrease fear of the unknown by increasing knowledge.


Ali, S. (2017, Dec 7). 10 American Muslim women you should know. Retrieved from

Gigi Hadid

Date of Birth: April 23rd, 1995

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California

Hadid is Palestinian-American and is one of the top supermodels in the world. She has walked in the most exclusive runways, been on covers of the top magazines, and been the face of campaigns for the most well-known designers and companies. In 2016 she was declared International Model of the Year by the British Fashion Council.


Gigi Hadid. (2015, December 4). Retrieved July 21, 2019, from

Mona Haydar

Date of Birth: May 18th, 1988

Place of Birth: Flint, Michigan

Mona Haydar is an activist, singer, chaplain, and poet. One of her more viral demonstrations, “Ask a Muslim” took place at a coffee stand in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She invited passersbys to take a seat and speak with her and her husband over a cup of coffee in order to try and combat negative stereotypes about Muslims and create a space where people could ask questions without feeling judged. While rap may not be every Muslim person’s cup of tea, her protest songs have themes that many Muslim women can identify with. Her song, “Hijabi” talks about all of the stereotypical question’s women get when wearing their headscarves, such as “how long is your hair?” or “what does your hair look like under there?”. In her video she is pregnant with her firstborn son, showing that women can still work and achieve while pregnant. When pregnant with her second son she went and protested on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation against the Keystone Pipeline. In all aspects of her life, she pushes to help marginalized peoples come up in the world and show that Muslim women can be beautiful, strong, powerful forces against hate.


Blumberg, A. (2016, Dec 12). 17 Muslim American women who made America great in 2016.   Retrieved from

Mona Haydar (2017, March 17). Hijabi-Wrap my hijab. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Salma Hayek

Date of Birth: September 2nd, 1966

Place of Birth: Coatzacoalcos, Mexico

Hayek is a Mexican-Lebanese-American actress. She began her career acting in telenovelas in Mexico. She then moved to Hollywood and began gaining roles in movies. Her role in the movie Frida (2002) made her a household name since she was nominated in the category of Best Actress for an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Golden Globe Award. From 2006 to 2010 Hayek was the executive producer for Ugly Betty which was aired around the world. In 2007 Hayek struck a deal with MGM to become the CEO of her own Latin-themed production company, named Ventanarosa.


Salma Hayek. (2015, June 4). Retrieved July 21, 2019, from

Sadaf Jaffer

Date of Birth: February 19, 1983

Place of  Birth: Chicago, Illinois (USA)

Sadaf Jaffer has a B.S. from Georgetown University and  Ph.D. from Harvard University. She was the first South Asian American Woman sworn in as mayor for Montgomery Township, New Jersey. As mayor, she aims to increase access and community building towards equality. Many of her initiatives include community involvement and transparency to create trusting relationships. Before becoming mayor, she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University where she teaches courses on South Asian, Islamic, and Asian American Studies.



Callie Khouri

Date of Birth: November 27th, 1957

Place of Birth: San Antonio, Texas

Khouri is a well-known and successful Syrian-American screenwriter, producer, and director. She has received an Academy Award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for her work on Thelma & Louise. Khouri is a proud feminist and her values were echoed in her movie which made Thelma & Louise controversial at the time. More recently Khouri’s work has included Mad Money and Nashville.


Callie Khouri. (2015, May 29). Retrieved July 21, 2019, from

Farhana Khera

Date of Birth: Unknown

Place of Birth: Painted Post, New York

After the Patriot Act was passed during September 11, 2001, Farhana Khera worked on combating the religious and racial profiling raised by the anti-terrorism policy. She served as an expert on constitutional law in the US Senate Judiciary Committee to fight to amend the Patriot Act, and there she made many political connections. One of these was Senator Russ Feingold, a senator she worked directly with for many years. She eventually co-founded and became the first executive director of Muslim Advocates in 2005, a group challenging the Trump travel ban and other breaches of Muslim civil liberties.


Burke, D & Styx, M.(2018) 25 Influential American Muslims. Retrieved from

(2018, Jan 24). Farhana Khera. Retrieved from

Hoda Kotb

Date of Birth: August 9th, 1964

Place of Birth: Norman, Oklahoma

Kotb is an Egyptian-American most well known for being on American’s morning news. She is on the Today Show and co-hosts the fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford. She has also been a correspondent for Dateline since 1998.  In addition to her work in television, she has written books, which include a New York Times Bestseller. Kotb a survivor of breast cancer is a strong advocate for breast cancer awareness today.


Nailah Lymus

Date of Birth: Unknown

Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York

Nailah Lymus is one of many Muslim women dissatisfied with fashion choices available to her. Even when she was a child she would create her own hijab accessories rather than get store-bought ones. When she started designing to break into the fashion industry, she noticed that generally, designers did not give much creative leeway or modest options to the models. In 2015 she created UNDERWRAPS Agency and invited models of all faiths and backgrounds who were looking to model in a more modest setting. She showed her designs at the 2014 NYC Fashion week and was featured in Couture Fashion week in 2011. She continues to make her radiant designs and promote that fashion can be beautiful and modest.


Burke, D & Styx, M.(2018) 25 Influential American Muslims. Retrieved from

Underwraps Agency. About. Retrieved from

Hind Makki

Date of Birth: Unknown

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois

Hind Makki sparked discussion about the inequality some women face within the Muslim community after posting an image of the women’s prayer room in her mosque. It was much smaller than the men’s area- measuring only 6 feet wide. She now has a blog called Side Door that discusses the unequal treatment of women as well as reviews mosques that have unequal arrangements. She said the biggest surprise from this experience has not been the reaction from the women, but that of the men. Since mosques are gender separated, many men didn’t realize the staggering difference in appearance the prayer areas held. In addition to her blog, she also is a writer on several other platforms such as the Chicago Monitor website.


Elkhatib, B. (2016, March 10). Hind Makki makes sure a women’s [sic]  place is in the mosque if she wants. Retrieved from makes-sure-a-womens-place-is-in-the-mosque-if-she-wants/

Burke, D & Styx, M.(2018). 25 Influential American Muslims. Retrieved from

M. Hasna Maznavi

Date of Birth: October 2nd, 1985

Place of Birth: California

M. Hasna Maznavi built a mosque that was for women-only. This mosque was not meant to be a reaction to any event or action, but simply a celebration of Muslim women coming to worship. She had the idea from a young age, dreaming of the beautiful designs she would incorporate, but it evolved into so much more. She wanted to create a connected and inspired community that could uplift women. The Women’s Mosque for America boasts that it is the first all-women mosque built in the USA. In addition to her religious work, she also has a profession as a comedy writer and director, known for work on the shorts, “Blind Spot”, “Forbidden Love”, and many others.


Burke, D & Styx, M.(2018) 25 Influential American Muslims. Retrieved from (2016).

M. Hasna M. Retrieved from

Christa McAuliffe

Date of Birth: September 2nd, 1948

Place of Birth: Boston, Massachusetts

McAuliffe was a Lebanese-American hero. She was a teacher in New Hampshire who was selected in 1985 from 11,000 applicants to participate in the NASA Teacher in Space Project. She was going to be the first teacher in outer space, traveling on the Space Shuttle Challenger. Just a minute after take-off the shuttle broke apart and all it’s crew members passed. In 2004 her memory was honored as she was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.


Azadeh Moaveni

Date of Birth: 1976

Place of Birth: Palo Alto, California

Author of Lipstick Jihad and Honeymoon in Tehran, and co-author of Iran Awakening, Azadeh Moaveni has devoted her life to writing with a focus on women and the Middle East. She has lived in and written about multiple places including Iraq, Cairo, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Qatar and reported as a consultant for Time magazine, writing about conflicts from within the countries’ borders. Many of her articles and other works look at the gender imbalance in the Middle East; she writes how women and girls are affected more by conflict and political disturbances as well as how Islam affects women’s rights.


Ali, S. (2017, Dec 7). 10 American Muslim Women You Should Know. Retrieved from

Azadeh Moaveni. Retrieved from

Ibtihaj Muhammad

Date of Birth: December 4th, 1985

Place of Birth: Maplewood, New Jersey

Ibtihaj Muhammad is known for being the first U.S. woman to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics. She then became the first female Muslim woman to place in the Olympics when she won a bronze medal in 2016 with the U.S. saber fencing team. Since then she has started a fashion line called Luella that makes modest but fashionable clothing and models them on a large demographic of people; there are many different races, religions, and expressions of those religions (Muslims who are hijab-wearing and non-hijab-wearing) who are shown wearing her clothes on her website. Recently the popular toy company, Barbie has modeled a doll after her, including her hijab in the outfit design. She published an autobiographical book as well, titled, Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream.


(2019, April 1). Ibtihaj Muhammad. Retrieved from (2018).

Ibtihaj Muhammad. Retrieved from

Blumberg, A. (2016, Dec 12). 17 Muslim American women who made America great in 2016.Retrieved from

Kathy Najimy

Date of Birth: February 6th, 1967

Place of Birth: San Diego, California

Najimy broke into the film industry in 1990 when she was cast in the comedy Sister Act. Since then she has acted in many movies including Rat Race, Hocus Pocus, and Cat’s Don’t Dance. She is most known for her role in the show Veronica’s Closet which aired from 1997 to 2000. Najimy is passionate and active in fighting for women, gay and human rights.


Kathy Najimy. (2015, June 2). Retrieved July 21, 2019, from Najimy

Diane Rehm

Date of Birth: September 21st, 1936

Place of Birth: Washington, D.C.

Diane Rehm became a household name as a result of her long-running radio show from 1979 to 2011 called The Diane Rehm Show. Her show was broadcasted on NPR that allowed listeners to engage on hot topics by calling in. During her career, she had the opportunity to interview presidents, celebrities and journalists within war zones. Rehm is an inspiration for many females in the field of journalism.


Eadeh, N. (2017, March 8). Honoring 30 Influential Arab American Women for International Women’s Day. Retrieved July 21, 2019, from

Selwa “Lucky” Roosevelt

Date of Birth: January 1929

Place of Birth: Kingsport, Tennessee

Lucky’s early career was being a journalist for The Washington Evening Star in addition to being a freelance writer for Family Circle, McCalls, and Town & Country. Her greatest accomplishment is arguably holding the position of Chief of Protocol of the United States.  She was chief from 1982 to 1987, the longest amount of time any one person has held the position. In 2012 President Barack Obama gave Lucky a commendation for her service in government.


Selwa Roosevelt. (2015, June 4). Retrieved July 21, 2019, from “Lucky” Roosevelt

Amirah Sackett

Date of Birth: 1978

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois

Amirah is a dancer and choreographer that in 2011 founded a group called, We’re Muslim, Don’t Panic. This dance group features women wearing niqabs doing a blend of traditional and new-age dance moves. They gained viral fame and were featured in rap artist Brother Ali’s music video, Mourning for America, in 2012. She has performed in this troupe, solo, and in other groups locally, nationally, and internationally. Her goals are to challenge negative stereotypes held against Muslim-Americans and work to empower Muslim females who face discrimination. She spoke at a TEDx conference and at Harvard University, and currently has a youtube channel showcasing her beautiful dancing and choreography.


(2013). Amirah Sackett. Retrieved from

Blumberg, A. (2016, Dec 12). 17 Muslim American women who made America great in 2016. Retrieved from

Feryal Salem

Date of Birth: Unknown

Place of Birth: Illinois, USA

Author and Professor, Feryal Salem believes that women have a role in the instruction of Islamic Law and theology. Currently, she works as the co-director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. There she trains the next generation of interfaith ambassadors and spiritual counselors as well as teaches Islamic scripture and law as a professor. She also works as an editor of The Muslim World academic journal.


Burke, D & Styx, M.(2018) 25 Influential American Muslims. Retrieved from

Lucie Salhany

Date of Birth: May 25th, 1946

Place of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio

Lucie Salhany paved the way for many women in the television industry. In 1993 she was selected to be the next President and CEO of Fox-parent News Corp. One of the most popular shows she is known for bringing to air is The X-Files. One of her major contributions that she is responsible for is Fox securing the NFL package, which was worth 1.6 billion dollars. Lucie has received many awards for her professional work in the television industry but also for her humanitarian efforts.


Lucie Salhany. (2015, June 2). Retrieved July 21, 2019, from

Suzanne Sareini

Date of Birth: May 4, 1951

Place of  Birth: Dearborn, Michigan (USA)

Suzanne Sareini is a Lebanese-American businesswoman and politician from Dearborn, Michigan. She is the first Arab-American to be elected to the Dearborn City Council and retired from the council after serving six-terms; a total of 24 years. Sareini was also appointed by the governor of Michigan to the Arab-American advisory committee and was appointed to the Office of Personnel Management by President George H.W. Bush in 1992. Near the end of her political career, she served as the city council’s President pro-tempore, and she prioritized senior and youth issues during her time on the council. 


Linda Sarsour

Date of Birth: 1980

Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York

Sarsour is a Palestinian woman who was formerly the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and was the co-founder of MPOWER Change. Sarsour has been a strong advocate for civil right changes, particularly on the topic of unwarranted surveillance of Muslim Americans. She is most known for her involvement as co-founder of the Women’s March on Washington. Some of her most impressive awards include “Champion of Change” named by the White House, YWCA USA’s Women of Distinction Award for Advocacy and Civic Engagement and the Hala Maksoud Leadership Award from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Additionally, Sarsour was listed in the top 500 most influential Muslims in the world.


Linda Sarsour. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2019, from

Ilyasah Shabazz

Date of Birth: July 22nd, 1962

Place of Birth: New York City, New York

Ilyasah Shabazz is the daughter of Malcolm X, who was assassinated in front of her when she was only 2 years old. She became an author and published an autobiography on growing up as Malcolm X’s daughter, as well as two biographies of her father’s life geared towards children and young adults. She has worked in cultural affairs and public affairs positions in Mount Vernon and has won awards for her published work. She wants to continue to lift up future generations and empower them to make society better.


Ali, S. (2017, Dec 7). 10 American Muslim Women You Should Know. Retrieved from

(2019, Feb 19). Ilyasah Shabazz. Retrieved from

Donna Shalala

Date of Birth: February 14th, 1941

Place of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio

Shalala became well known when she was selected as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001. Shalala was the first Lebanese-American to serve in the United States Cabinet. After her work in government, she became the President of the University of Miami in 2001- 2014. After retiring as President of the university she was selected to run the Clinton Foundation. As a result of all her work in government, she received a Presidential Medal of Honor, the highest civilian honor, from President George W. Bush in 2008.


Donna Shalala. (2015, May 29). Retrieved July 21, 2019, from

Noor Tagouri

Date of Birth: November 27th, 1993

Place of Birth: West Virginia, USA

Noor Tagouri is a Libyan-American journalist, public speaker, storyteller, and rebel. She was the first woman featured in Playboy Magazine wearing a hijab (she was also fully clothed) and spoke about the stigma and benefits of wearing the hijab, hoping to target a wider male audience. At age 22 she already was a reporter on-the-air for Newsy, had a large following on social media, collaborated with the Lis’n Up clothing brand, and participated in a TEDx talk. One of her biggest projects she has released was her documentary, The Trouble They’ve Seen: The Forest Haven Story, about people with disabilities and the mistreatment they face. She also has a podcast on sex trafficking in America called Sold in America: Inside Our Nation’s Sex Trade. Noor Tagouri’s overall message calls passionately for individual expression and says that being yourself is the best act of rebellion one can engage in.


Blumberg, A. (2016, Dec 12). 17 Muslim American women who made America great in 2016. Retrieved from 2016_us_584204b7e4b09e21702ec3b1del

Gaizo, A. (2016, Sept 22). Media wunderkind Noor Tagouri makes a forceful case for modesty. Retrieved from

(2019, Mar 26). Noor Tagouri. Retrieved from

Helen Thomas

Date of Birth: August 4, 1920

Place of Birth: Winchester, Kentucky (USA)

Born to Lebanese immigrants from the Ottoman Empire, and the seventh of nine children, Helen Thomas was an American newspaper reporter who is best known for her long tenure within the White House press corps. She covered the White House over the course of ten presidential administrations – from the beginning of the Kennedy administration to the second term of the Obama administration. Thomas was also the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents’ Association and was the first female officer of the National Press Club.


Lisa Vogl

Date of Birth: Unknown 

Place of  Birth: East Lansing, Michigan

Lisa Vogl has a BA in Marketing and Cultural Studies from Chatham University. Vogl converted to Islam in 2011 and in 2015 founded Verona Collection fashion line to meet the needs of Muslim women. “Verona Collection stands for women’s empowerment and taking pride in one’s identity”. She began as a fashion photographer and gained popularity through social media. Verona Collection was the first Islamic fashion brand to be launched and sold in Macy’s department stores in 2017. Then ASOS collaborated with the company in 2018. Her company quickly grew and has sold in the U.S, UK, and Europe. She currently lives in Florida with her two children.


Kiran Waqar, Balkisa Abdikadir, Hawa Adam, Lena Ginawi

Date of Birth: 2000-2001

Place of Birth: Vermont, USA

This group of women created a slam-poetry group called Muslim Girls Making Change in 2016 when they were only teenagers. They are currently all seniors at Burlington High School and continue to tour across the nation using their poetry to make a positive impact and to change perceptions on what it means to be a Muslim woman.


Blumberg, A. (2016, Dec 12). 17 Muslim American women who made America great in 2016. Retrieved from

G. Willow Wilson

Date of Birth: August 31st, 1982

Place of Birth: New Jersey

G. Willow Wilson not only has a name reminiscent of a comic book character but has also created one. She currently is a writer on the Hugo-Award-winning comic series Ms. Marvel, which follows a 16-year-old Pakistani-New Yorker who loved the original Ms. Marvel and decided to continue on her legacy. In addition to her Marvel hero, G. Willow Wilson has also published books and memoirs such as Alif the Unseen, or The Butterfly Mosque, and has worked as a writer on other Marvel comics such as Superman. Although she has been previously accused by right-wing comic fans for spreading Sharia Law through her comics, she has not been brought down by their unfounded criticism and continues to shine, reaching the bestseller list regularly.


(2011). About me, G. Willow Wilson. Retrieved from

Burke, D & Styx, M.(2018) 25 Influential American Muslims. Retrieved from

Maysoon Zayid

Date of Birth: 1974

Place of Birth: New Jersey

Zayid is a Palestinian-American actress, who is said to be the first American Muslim female comedian. Zayid was born with Cerebral Palsy, and often includes jokes about her disability in her acts. She broke barriers as she was the first person to ever perform standup in Palestine and Jordan. She co-founded the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival which now occurs every year. It has been announced that she is currently working on a TV series that will draw from her own life experiences of being an Arab-American woman with a disability. Zayid is very involved in philanthropic efforts including running art programs for children with disabilities and orphaned children who reside in refugee camps.


Maysoon Zayid. (2016, June 29). Retrieved July 21, 2019, from