Inspired by Ibtihaj Muhammad’s story I decided to do a countdown to the Olympics in Rio on my Instagram page (@muslimgirljournal) to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of the some of the amazing Muslim women that are representing their countries on this world stage. Below are the stories of my top 2 in the countdown.
Can you see the breath-taking smile of Sarah Attar in this picture? That is the smile of a woman that’s shattering glass ceilings! Competing in the 800 metre race in the 2012 Olympics, Sarah was one of the first two women to represent Saudi Arabia at the Olympics. She’s back in Rio but this time competing in the Marathon race.
I could only round up this countdown with none other than the inspiring Ibtihaj Muhammad who is making history this year as the first American Woman to wear a hijab at the Olympics. Ibtihaj was ranked in the top 25 in fencing prior to the 2012 Olympics but didn’t make the final cut. Well I guess perseverance and hard work only lands you in Rio! But her awesomeness doesn’t stop there. She also owns a modest fashion company ‘Louella’ named after her grandmother which offers affordable and modest clothing for Muslim Women. She is widely respected in the Muslim community both as an Athlete and an Activist. To sum it up in her own words,
Muslim. Black. Girl. These aren’t limitations. Combating stereotypes has always been a part of who I am.
To conclude, this series doesn’t capture the stories of all the Muslim women that are representing their countries on this world stage but I hope you are inspired by the stories of these 12 women as I have been. They have been a reminder of the #muslimgirlfire we have all day every day!
If you’re interested in reading the stories of all 15 women you can read it on the @muslimgirljournal page on Instagram.