The project started when photographer Kyna Uwaeme (who is Nigerian-American with a Catholic background) realized she had little knowledge of Muslim lifestyle and culture, and wanted to learn more and try to do her part in combating Islamophobia. So she put out a casting all on Instagram for a photography series on the challenges, joys and misconceptions surrounding Muslim American women. Unexpectedly a trove of Muslim high-school girls responded to the call.
“Younger girls are more open to working with me,” says the photographer. “They are at a place in their lives where they are becoming who they are. I like to give them confidence and power through my photography, more of a voice. They got to go to school afterwards like, ‘Look at me now.’”
Aya was one of the young women to respond to the photography project. “Being a Muslim girl in America means that I need to represent my religion properly to get rid of the ignorance that plagues many societies today. It means respect, not submission ― tolerance, love, selflessness and much much more.”
“The whole point was to bridge the gap between the Western understanding of Islam and the African understanding of Islam,” says the photographer.
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