6 most influential Muslim youths you should know about
- 05 December 2018
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About 99 per cent of Muslim children in the US attend public schools. Many of them face identity issues, disengagement from their faith and a lack of influential Muslim role models to look up to in order to feel accepted in a diverse environment.
But Muslims have now started to reclaim and assert their narratives.
And there are new contributors to our modern history: the Muslim youth. Indeed, many proud moments for the ummah are often achieved by these young people. Take a look at six young talents who are making waves in and outside the ummah.
AMINAH JASMINE RAHMAN
Aminah Jasmine Rahman. Source: aboutislam.net
At 14 years old, Aminah is already the multi-award-winning author of two poetry collections, Poems by Aminah and Soul Change. Based in the UK, she is young and wise at the same time: read her poem “Glittering Space”, and you may feel the same.
Aminah Rahman is also the winner of the 2015 Young Muslim Writers Awards. Check out her books at major online book distributors.
Anwar Diggins. Source: aboutislam.net
Recipient of the NAACP’s Rising Star Award for 2018, Anwar is the author of the children’s book Game Over: Life Outside of Video Games.
Drawing on his own experience, this American writer hopes that the book will raise awareness about fun activities hardcore gamers can do to avoid the depression and loneliness that come with playing video games non-stop. A rising, business-savvy lad, Anwar Diggins is also a philanthropist dedicated to the cure of cancer.
Check him out on Instagram @enterprisesbyAnwar.
Amaya Diggins. Source: aboutislam.net
The 11-year-old Amaya Diggins (our last influential youth’s sister) became an inspirational entrepreneur and role model when she decided to make the change she wanted to see: designing fitting, stylish and attractive hijabs for her age group.
Her contribution to history is unprecedented. Most hijab designers catered to an older crowd, and even when their hijabs were marketed to younger girls, they didn’t fit right. Kuddos to Amaya for her brilliance.
Stephanie Kurlow. Source: aboutislam.net
An Australian-Russian convert to Islam, 15-year-old Kurlow is a Muslim ballerina who has shown naysayers that religion is not a barrier to one’s dreams. She is an inspiration to Muslims of all ages everywhere, especially in Australia.
Juwayriyah Ayed. Source: aboutislam.net
Juwayriyah is the co-author of the children’s book Hind’s Hands and is one of the curators of the first Muslim fiction app (created by her mother, Umm Juwayriyah). The young American author’s book helps raise awareness of autism, especially in Muslim settings. These contributions are much needed and pave the way for upcoming Muslim works.
MENA AND ZENA NASIRI
The Nasiri sisters. Source: aboutislam.net
Fourteen-year-old Mena and her fifteen-year-old sister Zena are founders of Girls of the Crescent, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to collecting books with diverse characters and, most importantly, Muslim ones, to help the Muslim youth relate better to their identity.
The books donated to them are donated in turn to mainstream libraries. With their efforts, they hope that no Muslim youth will struggle to see themselves represented in books written in the West. The sisters live in Michigan, USA.
Let us introduce these children to our children so that they can be inspired and make the change they want to see.
Papatia Feauxzar is an American author of West African descent living in Dallas, Texas with her son and husband. She holds a master’s degree in Accounting with a concentration in Personal Finance. After working as an accountant for a corporate firm for almost five years, Feauxzar decided to pursue Accounting from home while homeschooling her son. You can visit her website at www.djarabikitabs.com.
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