Check out these eight gloriously creative Muslim women on YouTube
These creative Muslim women define what it means to be Muslim on their terms through comedy, music, and more.
Last year, MuslimGirl.com — a website where Muslim women “talk back” — launched the first-ever Muslim Women’s Day. Taking place on March 27th at the end of Women’s History Month, this day is meant to highlight stories from the community and amplify Muslim women’s voices that are drowned out.
Contrary to what some people think, Muslim women have plenty to say and often have to combat online hate and rampant Islamophobia to say it. Undeterred, many young women have boldly put themselves on the line — leveraging media to not only broadcast their opinions, but let the world into their personal lives at the same time.
To help celebrate year two of this powerful day, we put the spotlight on eight Muslim women who are rockin’ it on YouTube. These women define what it means to be Muslim on their terms, and through their mix of comedy, vlogs, music and more, seamlessly go from the personal to the political, week after week. So let’s show them some love by kicking back and pressing play.
#1| DINA TOKIO
No list would be complete without Dina Tokio, the most influential hijabi fashion vlogger in the world. Dina and others like her are the reason for the booming $243 billion-dollar modest fashion movement, with major players like Dolce & Gabbana and Zara jumping in. Since the 2011 debut of her YouTube channel, Dina has become a fashion icon and trailblazer, putting together outfits that are stunning pieces of art.
After audience feedback, Dina began to take us behind the curtain, posting hijab tutorials, vlogs and Q&As with her husband Sid, where they talk openly about their own marriage and parenthood and answer tough and raw questions from young Muslims all around the world. On top of all this, Dina’s working on her own clothing line. And you think you’re busy. . .
I have major life goals every time I watch Dina and she’s literally the reason for any of my new hijab styles.
#2 | MONA HAYDAR
Mona Haydar took the world by storm with the release of her swagalicious music video “Hijabi (Wrap my Hijab)” which featured a pregnant Mona rapping lyrics about hijab like, “Not your exotic vacation / I’m bored with your fascination.” Her debut went on to be named Billboard’s 25 top feminist anthems of all time, in the same company as Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Her second song “Dog” was even stronger, where she took on Muslim men who police women. Mona Haydar’s lyrics often go for the jugular; her first single addresses the exotification of hijab as well as hijabis being the first targets for Islamophobia, crystallizing hijabis’ thoughts all around the world out loud and with a bangin’ beat. In anticipation of her 2018 EP, learn the steps to her fierce choreography and let the dance party begin.
#3 | NABELA NOOR
Shout out to this fellow Bangladeshi American who talks candidly about politics, body positivity, and interracial relationships through vlogs, makeup tutorials/reviews and comedy sketches. She starts some of her videos with the greeting “Hey, kee khobor” which is Bangla for “What’s up?”. That alone gives me the feels. She interacts with her audience in innovative ways; in one video she uses the app Candid to let fans ask anonymous questions they’ve been dying to bring up. Nabela is proud to rock her brown American culture and celebrates it in her videos in a fun and bingeable way.
#4 | SIMPLY SAHAR
This is what I love about Muslim women. They are just as into making videos about room tours and back to school routines as they are on life as a black Muslim or the Muslim ban. Watch Sahar share her family, school and love life through her vlogs and comedy sketches. Turns out Sahar has visited the White House not once but twice through a leadership program, meeting with former President Obama’s top Muslim staffers. As a high-schooler, Sahar’s already accomplished more than me, and she’s got her own P.O. box!
#5 | NABZ PAT
Nabz Pat is the woman we all need. Nabz’ unabashedly honest videos say it all. In one, she takes us to Berlin, Germany where she delves into what it’s been like for Muslims to immigrate to Berlin, especially refugees. In another, she discusses the constant expectation of Muslims to condemn terrorism, and the hypocrisy of liking hijabi fashion vloggers but also publicly shaming them like you’re the haram brigade. With her blend of politics and humor, Nabz is unafraid to say the things that’s on our minds. The next British Samantha Bee anyone?
#6 | DANIELA M. BIAH
Through her vlogs, beauty tutorials and more, Daniela keeps it real. Whether talking about what college students should really be preparing for back to school: finances and your credit score, or videos with her thoughts on President Trump as a Mexican Muslim, as well as shopping hacks for Muslim girls, Daniela always brings honesty and sparkling humor to every conversation, and covers the gamut — politics, fashion, and finance- of a Muslim women’s life.
#7 | TAZZY PHE
When Tazzy Phe posts a video, people notice. Her mix of character sketches, commentary, and vlogs are on point, and she’s spun these video into several funny series like “The Secret Life of Hijabis” and “Tazzy Tuesdays” which takes place in a car. Donning wigs, baseball caps or hijab, watch Tazzy take on topics like “Donald Trump eats international foods” or “25 and living with my parents.” Special bonus prize for those who can spot scene-stealing cameos from her little sis.
#8 | ARFAH
Follow twentysomething British Arfah to the US, Pakistan and the UAE as she researches the rise of Muslim women in tech. Arfah is passionate about technology, social entrepreneurship, and diversity in tech, and through vlogs and interviews, weaves stories together from Muslim start-ups all around the world, all for her fellowship. For example, hear from MuzBnB’s Director of Communications — an Airbnb for Muslims, or the Program Manager of a coding camp for Muslims kids in a mosque.
These self-starting women, from Canada to Europe, have launched businesses, met the President, named ambassadors of YouTube’s Creators for Change, or heralded by Billboard magazine. Not bad for a day’s work, eh? But this list has eight . . . and there are nearly 1B Muslim women worldwide who are doing amazing things everyday. So give props to the Muslim women in your life and let us know which Muslim women to watch next!
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