Welcome to SHEzaadi

By Shirin Neshat

Welcome to SHEzaadi, a publication dedicated to social issues affecting women in the modern Muslim context. We are founders Sabeen and Zara, two Muslim brown girls working to make it in NYC, in our world, in our love lives, in our destinies, and all the in-between.

Where did we get our name? Here’s how we break it down:


She — more than a subject pronoun, an agent over herself, the divine female, the source of mankind;

Shezaadi — Urdu word for princess, the parochial daughter upon whom all patriarchal values and expectations rest;

Azaadi — Urdu word for freedom — freedom from misogyny, hatred, ignorance, complicity

Our play on these words is redefining what it means to be a modern Muslim woman in America today. America is the land of opportunity but also the land of confusion, stalled intersectionality, of broken identities; of your feminism against my feminism.

In this community, we share the stories and voice our opinions on identity, sexuality, gender, appearance, personal development, family, religion, language, the haram, the halal, and everything in between that your soul has desired. We don’t leave anything out, and we don’t play safe on any of the details.

This is for our sisters who have been told to be modern, but not too modern. Amongst ourselves, we are keen young professionals and strong sisters: outgoing, adjusted, young, beautiful and driven. At home, our parents are never satisfied, can’t understand our success and may not even speak our language. And out there, we are excluded, misunderstood, mislabelled and mistrusted. Our world is a cultural mosaic which collects pieces from every part of the globe, from everyone in our lives, and from everything we’ve learned.

We share with the world what we make of it, as South Asians, as Muslims, as women, and as humans. We are SHEzaadi. You are SHEzaadi.

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