Arab & Muslim Women – Unknown Birth Date


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 photojournal 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.

Sources:

Blumberg, A. (2016, Dec 12). 17 Muslim American women who made America great in  2016. Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/17-muslim-american-women-who-made-america-great-in-2016_us_584204b7e4b09e21702ec3b1      

Sarabia, A. (2016, Feb 4). Meet the women of ‘Hijabis of New York’. Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/meet-the-women-of-hijabis-of-new-york

(2019, April 16). Rana Abdelhamid. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rana_Abdelhamid


Reem Acra

Date of Birth: Unknown

Place of Birth: Beirut, Lebanon

Acra started her bridal fashion line in 1997. Her business has been very successful, and she has styled many big celebrities for their big day. Additionally, she has designed the uniforms for the American University of Beirut Medical Center where her parents previously worked. Acra opened up a store for gowns and bridal dresses in her hometown of Beirut in 2010. She is currently a Member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Dubai Design and Fashion Council. She was awarded the Building Bridges award in 2014.

Source:

Reem Acra. (2015, June 4). Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://www.arabamerica.com/arabamericans/reem-acra/


Charlene Mekled Elder

Date of Birth: Unknown

Place of Birth: Unknown

In 2006 the Governor of Michigan appointed Elder to Wayne County 3rd Circuit. That appointment made Elder the first female Muslim judge in America. In addition, she was the first American Judge on the bench to speak Arabic fluently.

Source:

Eadeh, N. (2017, March 8). Honoring 30 Influential Arab American Women for International Women’s Day. Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://www.arabamerica.com/honoring-30-influential-arab-american-women-international-womens-day/


Maryam Eskandari

Date of Birth: Unknown

Place of Birth: Unknown

A graduate of MIT and the Aga Khan Program of Islamic Architecture at Harvard University, Maryam Eskandari blends faith and design in the business that she founded, MIIM Designs. She is currently the acting CEO of this enterprise and works to create designs based on the Islamic faith with spaces allocated to bring women, children, and men into the fold equally. Regardless of the budgets of her clients, she works to create buildings and designs that are beautiful. Because so much of Muslim culture is ingrained into the architecture, Maryam Eskandari believes Muslims in the United States need help re-claiming that aspect of their culture. Even when she works on buildings and areas outside of the Muslim communities, she makes sure to spread beauty based on her Islamic faith throughout the design.

Sources:

Ali, S. (2017, Dec 7). 10 American Muslim women you should know. Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.com/samina-ali/10-american-muslim-women-you-should-know_b_4413809.html

Korody, N. (2017, Jan 18). Maryam Eskandari on weaving together her Islamic faith with architecture practice. Retrieved from https://archinect.com/features/article/149983319/maryam-eskandari-on-weaving-together-her-islamic-faith-with-architecture-practice


Dr. Najat Khelil

Date of Birth: Unknown

Place of Birth: Nablus, Palestine

Dr. Khelil is a pioneer for women in science, as she was the first woman in the state of Texas to earn a Ph.D. in nuclear physics. She shared her great knowledge through teaching at prestigious universities. As she progressed her career she also advocated for Arab-Americans. She established organizations including but not limited to the Union of Palestinian American Women, the Palestinian American Congress, the Arab Women’s Council, and the Palestinian Youth Organization.

Source:

Eadeh, N. (2017, March 8). Honoring 30 Influential Arab American Women for International Women’s Day. Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://www.arabamerica.com/honoring-30-influential-arab-american-women-international-womens-day/


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.

Sources:

Burke, D & Styx, M.(2018) 25 Influential American Muslims. Retrieved from                 www.cnn.com/interactive/2018/05/us/influential-muslims/

(2018, Jan 24). Farhana Khera. Retrieved from keywiki.org/Farhana_Khera


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.

Sources:

Burke, D & Styx, M.(2018) 25 Influential American Muslims. Retrieved from www.cnn.com/interactive/2018/05/us/influential-muslims/

Underwraps Agency. About. Retrieved from https://underwrapsagency.carbonmade.com/about


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.

Sources:

Elkhatib, B. (2016, March 10). Hind Makki makes sure a women’s [sic]  place is in the mosque if she wants. Retrieved from https://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/hind-makki- makes-sure-a-womens-place-is-in-the-mosque-if-she-wants/

Burke, D & Styx, M.(2018). 25 Influential American Muslims. Retrieved from www.cnn.com/interactive/2018/05/us/influential-muslims/


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.

Sources:

Burke, D & Styx, M.(2018) 25 Influential American Muslims. Retrieved from www.cnn.com/interactive/2018/05/us/influential-muslims/


Lisa Vogl

Date of Birth: Unknown

Place of Birth: Unknown

After Lisa Vogl converted to Islam, she found that there were not very many modest choices in fashion that she could wear. Instead of resigning herself to wear things she was uncomfortable in, she started her own clothing line, Verona Collection. The collection makes hijabs, shirts, skirts, and dresses that are both modest and beautiful. Her clothing line is now sold at Macy’s and has over 300 different products to choose from; it’s the first to sell hijabs at a major department store in America. Although she chooses to wear a hijab, she promotes that women should have the right to choose to not wear one as well. She maintains that both wearers and non-wearers should not have to face criticism for their choice, and that neither option should be mandatory.

Source:

Blumberg, A. (2016, Dec 12). 17 Muslim American women who made America great in 2016. Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/17-muslim-american-women-who-made-america-great-in-2016_us_584204b7e4b09e21702ec3b1