February 1st is World Hijab Day; the annual day to celebrate and pride all Hijabis worldwide who choose to lead an empowering life without letting any stereotypes stop them!
What is Hijab?
Aside from all perspectives and arguments about the meaning and importance of Hijab; the word “Hijab” literally means “covering” in Arabic. Muslim women cover their hair/heads as part of the Islamic teachings, standards and requirements.
Muslim women choose to wear the Hijab to not just demonstrate their hold on Islamic beliefs and God’s words but to dress modestly.
The Hijab is beyond a veil or a headscarf; it demonstrates worship.
What’s World Hijab Day?
Since 2013, February 1st has been marked as “World Hijab day“. The day was set by Nazma Khan, and New York has recognized the day in 2017.
A year later, it became a non-profit organization to lead the mission of fighting discrimination against Muslim women.
Who is Nazma Khan?
Nazma Khan is a social activist from Bangladesh who has been living in NYC since the age of 11.
Nazma Khan wanted to shed light on the gap surrounding why Muslim women choose to wear the Hijab through World Hijab Day, and her work paid off.
Now in Celebration of the World Hijab Day, we thought of making a list of women, along with Nazma Khan, who are setting examples for empowering Hijabis everywhere.
Halima Aden is a 23-year-old American/Somali former model.
She was the first hijab-wearing supermodel, and the first Hijabi model to be featured on the cover of Vogue magazine. Halima’s Hijab meant the world to her as much as her modelling business.
She was always very strict about adding clauses in her contracts that gave her the right to never take off her Hijab for any shoot.
However, Halima quit being a model in November 2020 when she realized that other Hijabi-models were not treated with the same respect as her.
Manal Rostom is the Egyptian founder of the “Surviving Hijab” group on Facebook and first Egyptian to have completed five out of the six world marathon majors. She’s also scaled some of the world’s highest peaks from Mont Blanc to Mount Kilimanjaro.
Manal is also he first ever a hijab-wearing athlete to appear in a Nike Middle East campaign.
Manal continues to support young girls, women worldwide through her Facebook group, Instagram posts and Twitter account along with the running challenges on Nike Run Club application.
Omneya El-Yamany is the first wheelchair user in Egypt to skydive.
After a car accident that had her on a wheelchair, Omneya found herself working out and challenging her body and power more through cross-fit and other extreme sports until she became the first adaptive Egyptian skydiver.
Sarah Samir is a 23-year-old Egyptian woman who became the first Arab woman to receive an Olympic weightlifting medal and the first Egyptian woman to receive an Olympic medal on the podium in any discipline.
Ibtihaj Muhammed is a 2016 Olympic medalist in fencing.
Ibtihaj is widely known for being the first American Muslim woman to wear Hijab while competing at the Olympic Games.
Zara Mohammed is a 29-year-old training and development consultant from Glasgow, Scottland.
Funny enough, just today she was elected as the Muslim Council of Britain. This makes her the first woman to hold the position in a move hailed as a landmark moment in the UK Muslim community.
8 years ago, Fatma Nabil made history in Egypt by being the first veiled news anchorwoman in Egyptian television history.
Just 8 years ago. Do you believe this?
Hanaa Awny is the first Egyptian veiled woman to be a news presenter for the BBC network through BBC Arabic TV.
Stephanie Kurlow is the World’s First Hijabi Ballerina. Stephanie is a Russian- Australian dancer who converted to Islam in 2010 when she was 9 years old.
After being rejected from many dance schools for being a Hijabi, her mum opened a ballet academy for her and other girls to dance freely, with or without Hijab.
Zahra Lari is the first Hijabi figure skater from the United Arab Emirates. The 26-year-old is a five-time Emirati National champion.