“Change can be strange.
It can be great.
Or it can be both.”
You all will not fail to agree with me that Salummy had some cobwebs for a while. December usually makes me lazy and gives me these weird holiday moods. However, I am back now and this time round, we are not stopping any time soon because we have 11 more months to December, lol. Let’s get started!
I know that we all need inspiration. However perfect you may think you are, you have to have someone that you look up to. This someone may be your guru, your parents, your mentor or even a random television fan. We need inspiration because just like glass, we are fragile a times. We need someone to hold on to us, give us that punch to continue and sometimes just someone to tell us that we will be fine.
Believe me; we all get lost but the greatest of people, try everything in their ability to get to their destination.
I want to start this year by appreciating all women that are doing their thing. Today, I want to be the voice of that woman that is enduring beatings silently at her husband’s house, I want to be the voice of all the women that could not complete their studies because of early marriage, I want to be the voice of every person that has faced atrocities and has had all her dreams; shattered, I want to be the voice of every girl-child that has been raped and abused. Today, I want to also appreciate women that are soaring heights to the sky. I am proud of you.
- Ibtihaj Muhammad.
I have always wanted to write something about her but I thought words would never be enough. Ibtihaj is the first Muslim African-American female to win an Olympic medal. There was a time when I believed that we, African women had no chance to be anywhere near victory. The world coated us paints of ignorance, stupidity and contempt. However, when I read about Ibtihaj; for the first time in forever, I saw a beam of hope for us. It is never too late. The part that takes my breath away is that she does all this with her hijab tightly secured on her head.
“Fencing has taught me so much about myself and what I am capable of. I want to be an example for minority and Muslim youth that anything is possible with perseverance. I want them to know that nothing should ever hinder them from achieving their goals—not race, religion, or gender.” – Ibtihaj Muhammad, Duke Magazine, 2011
- Ilhan Omar
Ilhan, a Somali-Arab woman in the United States is the first Muslim to hold office as a US legislator. Having empowered a number of East African women to take up civic leadership roles, she has turned the tables and this time, Minnesota will shine brighter than the diamonds and the stars. Her policy advocacy accomplishments have blown my mind because right now, she has shown the whole world that we, women of color can triumph. That is why I always say, “If you won’t be change, then who will?” We have to be the voices of our communities, of the people around us and mostly, we have to be voices of empowerment. We cannot just sit and say, “So and so will do that or I am married and what happens to the world is not my responsibility”. It’s time for change and change begins with You and I.
“No matter how many times we are assisting others to make decisions for us; we need to be the ones at the table. I want my voice there because my voice is the voice of so many people”- Ilhan Omar, Minnesota House Representative District 60B.
- Zymal Umar
Zymal is a 9 year old girl who is actually the youngest social entrepreneur in Pakistan. She has founded the project, Zee Bags that works to assist the underprivileged children and the environment at large. By making and selling hundreds of bags so as to save the environment, she has used the profit she made to purchase stuff for the children at SOS village, an international development non-governmental organization that has been working towards achieving the needs of children and protecting the rights and interests of the young ones.
Zymal has been awarded the TIE Youngest entrepreneurship Award, received a gold medal for the Federal Secretary of education in her country and has also received the Prince Abdul Aziz Award for the Children Pioneer and Eco-Preneur Award in Saudi Arabia.
What have we done to change our communities? What have we done to elevate ourselves?
We all need motivation and we all need inspiration. But the greatest change comes from within. If we acknowledge the fact that the world is ours and there are so many needy people waiting for us to notice their tears, their pain and their hunger, then that is enough inspiration. Ibtihaj is an athlete and also a business woman with an online fashion store, Luella that delivers modest fashion, Ilhan is representing change and progress for all the women in Minnesota and for all the Muslims in the United States of America and the most spectacular person of the day is Zymal Umar who is just 9 years old and has gone beyond normal elevations.
I have just selected my best 3 but this doesn’t mean that they are the only best. You have your own pinups. Just ensure that you follow people that are into positive change and progression not people that have no social values and just get famous because of the no-head-no-tail songs that they warble.
“Yes, you can be the finest version of yourself”