In 2009, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh was just 17 when she launched MuslimGirl.com which started as a personal blog on her experiences as a young Muslim woman in America. The blog has since taken off to great success, complete with an in-house writing staff and a readership growth of a stunning 90%, and now Amani is considered one of the leading activists for Muslim women everywhere including being the mastermind behind yesterday’s mega inspiring #MuslimWomensDay movement.
Here are some snippets from a recent interview with Complex Life:
On the idea behind Muslim Women’s Day:
“It just felt really important that we rise up to this moment, with so many people talking about the Muslim Ban and the women’s movement while Muslim women become more and more targeted. One of the biggest inquiries we’ve been getting has been, ‘What can we do to help, how can we change this?'”
“We’ve been lucky enough to work with some really incredible allies in the industry, so it was only natural to get them on board, which wasn’t hard at all—they were immediately excited to stand with us in making this happen. We actively collaborated on developing dope and unique story ideas with them to spread across different outlets so we could hit as many angles as possible.”
What is your long-term goal with the movement?
“My deepest hope is that Muslim Women’s Day can be a launching pad for wider and more nuanced representation of Muslim women in Western media. Already, this day has created so many opportunities for Muslim women’s hard work and experiences to get the visibility they deserve beyond your typical ‘Trendy Hijabi’ or ‘Shattering Stereotypes’ headlines. It’s also created opportunities for Muslim women to get bylines in media outlets within which they might otherwise not have had the opportunity to be represented. One of my priorities was to personally spend time individually consulting on Muslim women-focused story ideas to shed some light on what the potential of our adequate representation could look like. The incredible interest and response shows that there’s a desire to be more inclusive of our voices, and that’s what fills me with so much optimism for the future.”