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5 Muslim women who inspired us in 2017

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In our very first blog post we created a list of women who inspired us 2016. That blog post was well received by you the readers and shared across the world. We thank you for this! We are happy that 2017 turned out to be even a stronger year for Muslim women. We are glad to see increased representation in media and wish to see this continue in 2018.

Here is our list of five women who inspired us in 2017. Let’s celebrate these change-makers and trailblazers!

1 Halima Aden

Halima Aden is without a doubt 2017’s IT girl in the fashion industry. She made the headlines already when she decided to enter Miss Minnesota USA pageant wearing hijab and burkini. The biggest news, however, was the announcement in 2017 that she had been signed by one of the world’s leading model agencies  - IMG Models. Why do we love Halima so much? It is simple, she is unapologetically Muslim, Somali, hijabi, black, woman and so much more. We love her inspiring statement  “Don't ever change yourself, change the game”.  She stands strong in an industry and society pushing girls and women to conform after a certain standard. Her presence in the fashion industry is one that have already and will continue to inspire young women to stay true to their beliefs.

2 Linda Sarsour

Linda Sarsour is a force to reckon with. Linda was one of the key players organizing and speaking at the Women’s March in New York. This women-led movement had marches across the world. Linda has continually fought for  the marginalized communities and her quest for justices has unfortunately lead to hate mails from certain groups.  This has not stopped her from being vocal about injustice in the US and across the world. In a more polarized society, we appreciate those who dare to stand and speak loudly for justice. We look forward to hearing more from her in 2018!

3 Cherrie

What a year it has been for the breakout star Cherrie. The Somali-swedish artist received top Swedish awards P3 Guld, Grammis and Manifestgalan for genre Hiphop/Soul. She has also been nominated for Album of the Year and started her tour around the world. Under her own record label Araweelo she has released the hit song 163 för evigt featuring Z.E. Araweelo was a semi-mythical Somali Queen that pushed for the empowerment of women and lives on in Somali folktales.  Cherrie takes on this spirit by inspiring women to go independent, controlling her own image and lifting up marginalized communities living in the suburbs of Stockholm. We can’t wait to see what magic she creates 2018!


4 Iman Meskini

The Norwegian TV-serie SKAM brought us the bad-ass character Sana played by Iman Meskini. SKAM was a highly popular web-based drama series following teenagers in Hartvig Nissen School.  Sana was the main character on the fourth and final season airing from April-July 2017. This is one of the rare occasions where a hijabi has played one of the lead characters in an Scandinavian TV-show. For this, Iman is a trailblazer and a source of inspiration. This has lead to viewers seeing the prejudicism faced by muslim women and in someway helped break down stereotypes. Iman has featured the cover of Costume, one of Norway’s leading fashion magazine and has today joined the Norwegian Military. This is yet another proof that Iman is one tough lady - both on and off the screen!

5  Yassmin Abdel-Magied

If there is someone who knows what a difference a year makes it is Yassmin Abdel-Magied. Yassmin is an engineer, speaker, writer and founder of Youth without borders. She was also our second Jemmila Leader, you can find our interview here . The year took a tough turn after a facebook post lead to a massive criticism and media coverage in Australia. Today she lives in UK, continuing her career as a speaker and working on a book. Like a phoenix she has risen from the fire and is now much stronger. We are inspired by her ability to rise up and gives us hope that indeed what doesn’t break you makes you stronger.

Tell us a who has inspired you in 2017!


-  Faduma Aden

Founder & Creative Director of Jemmila 


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