You know sometimes I miss being a hijabi, it was like being a part of sisterhood in a sisterhood. An unspoken bond, that only women in hijab will truly understand. The crazy thing is I even miss all of the silly questions I used to be asked. At the time they used to drive me insane or make me feel self-conscious, but now it just makes me laugh at all of the ignorance.
Some of my favorites questions were: Do you sleep with that thing on your head? Do you shower with it on? How do you get your hair done? Why do you get your hair done? Those never really bothered me and honestly, I was asked at least one of those questions once a week. Depending on my mood dictated how sarcastic my response would be. The funny thing was I did feel like I was covering 24/7 as a black Muslimah. I would wear my hijab out during the day and then at night going to bed, I’d wear my satin scarf. Regardless of that fact, I was still annoyed being constantly being asked those questions.
On the other hand, the questions that actually offended me were: Are you forced to cover? Did you get that scarf as an initiation into your terrorist cell? Is that a symbol to show that you’re married? Questions all along those lines. I can’t say it was necessarily the questions that bothered me, but regardless of my response some people just looked at me with pity. Like oh, this poor girl is being oppressed, and that was the furthest thing from the truth.
Looking back at it now, I realize I learned young that there’s a lot of ignorance in this world, and I can’t let that affect me.
Never did I think I would start a blog, and let alone fall involve with being a blogger. I initially started this journey not expecting anyone to actually read or care about what I have to stay. I thought only my friends and family would occasionally read to be supportive, but it’ll just be some online diary I rarely tend to. As a pleasant surprise, that isn’t the case.
Through each post, writing out my experiences, I’m discovering my voice and realizing my words and opinions matter. The goal of my blog is to share a different perspective of being a young, Black, and Muslim woman. Express how there’s no standard experience, and regardless of my appearance, both are part of my identity.
Today marks the one year anniversary of The Misunderstood Afro Muslimah, and I couldn’t be prouder of my blog! I’m so honored and grateful to all of the people who’ve taken the time to read my posts. Thank you to all of my followers and readers; y’all have left some wonderful, thoughtful, and heart filled comments throughout the year. I’ve received emails from people sharing similar experiences, or just continuing the conversation past my initial article. I’ve had the privilege to speak on a panel in London, about my post, Diary of a Problematic Brown Skin Girl, and that was truly out of my element, but one of the highlights of my blogging experience. Also as a novice blogger, I’ve had the opportunity to be a guest blogger and do collabs on other bloggers website.
This has been a wonderful year and so excited about the future endeavors of me and my blog! Thank you again to everyone who has supported me throughout this journey!!
As a child, I was extremely quiet and passive-aggressive. Al Humduillah, I grew up and started speaking up for myself. As I talk to my younger brother about his middle school experience, I can’t help, but sit back and reflect on my completely different experience.
I actually don’t have too many fond memories of middle school, it was an awkward adjustment period of my life. Wearing the hijab, and a modest uniform did not help the situation either. One memory that has been sticking out lately is the time I had a substitute teacher in Music.
He was an older Black American man, really laid back and the majority of the students loved him. He was leading a discussion about music that our parents play in the car. So everyone is pretty much participating and having fun, cracking jokes. I attempt to participate, but before I get a full sentence out, he cuts me off. Informing me that I’m foreign, and my people don’t listen to regular music.
I was way too shy and quiet to speak up, and say, “no, I’m black, I am just Muslim”. At that point, I remember feeling so embraced and a sense of not belonging anywhere. I wanted so desperately to blend in, and not always stick out as different. Now I realize how idiotic and toxic his statement truly was. Instead of embracing me, and taking the opportunity to potentially learn about a new culture; he just shot me down because I didn’t appear “black enough”. The saddest part is, he’s not the only person who’s made me feel that way. Even though I grew up in a black community, I still was made to feel like a minority amongst my own people.
Most of my relationship posts tend to be about a failed love, missed opportunity, or just bad timing with some man. I do have several other successful and prospering relationships, not romantic, but just as special. This one, in particular, is going on four years strong, and each day we become closer; with my freshmen year roommate.
Initially, it was just a very friendly roommate relationship, but second semester something changed. We became true friends, that blossomed into being besties. We both were experiencing so much for the first time together, and we helped each other grow along the way.
We have two very different strong personalities, with different backgrounds, but our differences brought out something special in one another. Once we truly got to know each other, we realized we have the most important things in common; mutual respect and a desire to be successful.
This woman is beyond dependable, and always right there when I need her. She has a strong exterior shell and firmly believes in tough love, and we share mutual mentality no woman left behind! Over the course of our friendship, we’ve been through some crazy trials and tribulations both individually and together. Each test brings us closer together, and we are no longer just friends, she’s my sister. We may not always agree with each other’s choices and the way we handle situations, but we are always there to support and help one another to be the best versions of ourselves. Most importantly gladly give a nice kick in the ass to one another to keep moving forward, until we set this world on fire, with our names in the ashes.
As a child, you are always asked what do you want to be when you grow up. My standard answer for most of my life was to become a doctor. Honestly, I had no real passion for science, but my brother told me when I was younger I couldn’t be a doctor, I had to be the nurse. I was determined to prove him wrong and had my mindset on medicine.
In high school, I was accepted into a pre-engineering program and actually found my passion in life. I’ve always loved math, and now I was learning skills to apply it and create something new. I just needed to apply that to the medical field and was set on becoming a Biomedical Engineer. That is all I talked about for the rest of my high school career.
It wasn’t until my senior year when my program coordinator suggested Industrial Engineering. Like I’ve said in the previous post, I am a know it all, so I did not even hear her out, because I was determined to be a Biomedical Engineer. I’m so grateful she was so persistent about me looking into Industrial because it turned out to be the perfect fit for me. She always said I was a natural leader, but in her words, a bossy busybody, with the right training and education could take over the world.
After my freshmen year orientation and truly learning more in-depth what an Industrial Engineer does, I knew I was in the right field. I loved the mix of business and engineering, along with being prepared to be a project manager. Now, when I’m asked what do I want to be when I grow up, I say a CEO of a Defense Contracting Company.