By Maariyaah Shaheen
It has certainly been one of the most difficult decisions to elect the top 10 Muslim Women of 2015: with success not far from revolutionary, Muslim women have not failed to prove themselves successful. But I guess 2015 has been the biggest run around for Muslim women. From the depths of the West across the deserts of the Middle East, Muslim women have begun to express what it means to be a real Muslim woman, standing up for what they believe in and being the first for many to follow. It’s these women who’ve set 2016 up for us to take the lead and make a change. Let’s take a look at our top 10 Muslim women.
- Dalia Mogahed
The US’ first Muslim woman in the White House back in 2009, Dalia Mogahed is one of Barack Obama’s ‘closest advisors’ advocating the views and opinions of Muslims across the US in the most simplistic, recognizable and agreeable way. The Egyptian born advisor holds her title as a renowned speaker and writer, objective and credible in her speech and actions. What puts her in the top 10 of 2015 is her competitive passion even until this day. With the current events regarding western involvement in the Middle Eastern conflicts, governmental influence on our lives is now bigger than it has ever been and to have a Muslim woman influence a part of this is an achievement.
- Nadiya Hussain
Ready, set, bake!
Nadiya sets up the highlight of TV entertainment of 2015, conquering cakes and tough competition at “The Great British Bake Off”. Her bright and exciting personality as well as her colorful cakes and chocolate sculptures inspired by her exciting sense of culture has won over the hearts of millions. What puts Nadiya as one of the top 10 is her flying success throughout this year and her ambition to continue to do so in 2016. Having signed a publishing deal with Michael Joseph and hoping to start a cooking show with Bake Off Finalist Tamil Ray, the Bake Off would certainly not be the last thing we hear from Nadiya.
- Ibtihaj Muhammad
Who thought Muslim women would take their turn in fencing? Meet Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first female Muslim American fencer in the world. Her achievement seems to extend beyond her muslim identity: she is also ranked as one of the best female fencers in the world, reserving her place as an Olympian in the upcoming Olympics; “It’s always been my dream,” Muhammad remarks. Just this year she has gathered several awards for her performance and skill, and also an award as one of the top 10 Muslim women of 2015. En garde!
- Tawakkul Karman
Meet the Iron woman; Tawakkul Karman: a journalist, politician, and a human rights activist as well as one of the 10 Muslims that has won a Nobel Peace Prize. Her face is stapled to the 2011 Yemeni Uprising and is also known to have co-founded “Muslim Journalists Without Chains”. She became the first Arab woman and the second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Prize and the second youngest Nobel Peace Laureate to date. No bad, don’t you think?
- Malala Yousafzai
It’s young women like her who deserve the highest rank, even those who aren’t as recogniéed for their activism as Malaila. As an activist at the age of 16, she was the youngest holder of the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17, standing up for the right of education and freedom.
- Carolyn Walker
Aside from Donald Trump’s comments on stopping Muslims from entering the US, the US judiciary system seems to welcome more acceptance thanks to Judge Carolyn Walker: the first judge to swear upon the Quran rather than the Bible whilst wearing a hijab! Congratulations, your honor!
- Imaan Aldebe
From camel coats designer to designer turban hijabs. A daughter of a retired Imam, Imaan Aldebe breaks through the Western frame of the fashion industry across the UK and France with her stylish and artistic fashion line of designer turban hijabs. In the light of current events, Iman Aldebe, with her confidence to hit across the western market as well as achieving great success along the way, deserves a definite title as one of the top Muslim women of 2015.
- Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi
2015 is the most historical year for Saudi Women across the country: in this year, they had their first ever ability to vote and hold seats in the Saudi parliament. It would be incomplete not to include Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi, the first female councilor of Saudi Arabia, one of the eightteen who had won seats in the governmental elections. This very step has enchanted the world to see Saudi Arabia in a completely new light and to perceive the future of Muslim women as more prosperous in one of the most influential Muslim countries in the world!
- Aseel Shaheen
From judging in a court to officiating on a tennis court, Muslim women seem to be ruling the courts! Meet Aseel Shaheen: the first Arab Muslim woman to have officiated in Wimbledon deserves her place in the top 10. Just this year, Aseel Shaheen was given yet another role as an officiate at Wimbledon. What is so inspirational about this, is the fact that despite the spectators’ initial remarks, her presence has been well accepted across the tennis court and amongst the viewers, It’s this sense of agreeability and open-mindedness to see Muslim women as capable as any other officiate that open many more opportunities for Muslim Women across any field.
- Noor Tagouri
All eyes on Noor! Meet Noor Tagouri, an aspiring anchor on US Commercial Television. Having gained masses of support and coverage, Noor continues to strive towards achieving her goal to be showcased on US Commercial Television. Yet what seems to restrict her from this large media landscape is her hijab. “It empowers me,” Noor remarks, “It helps me do what I do”. But for her it’s either her and her hijab, or nothing. What adds her to this list is her perseverance, her motivation, and drive to achieve her ultimate goal.