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Get to Know Aaliyah, One of the Women of Our Positive Threads Campaign
Oct 7, 2021
Dilshad Ali
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Aaliyah in our Boundless Ambition Bamboo Woven Print
Dilshad Ali
Prioritizing diversity and range for the women who professionally model our hijabs on our website and social media has always been important for Haute Hijab, but we also knew you wanted to see yourself in our imagery and videos. Models know how to pose and present a polished look, but there’s something to be said for featuring real women wearing their HHs with confidence and joy! What better way to talk about the positive threads that we weave into our lives than doing so with everyday women as the face of our new Bamboo Woven Print collection?
We put a call out and brought together six dynamic, stunning women from our communities to model two new collections for you. And, we took time to get to know these wonderful ladies and bring their stories to you here on the blog. Throughout the month we’re featuring interviews with the faces of our Bamboo Woven Prints (and an exciting new collection dropping soon), starting with 19-year-old Aaliyah Yunus!
Aaliyah hails from Long Island, New York and is a sophomore studying pre-law, psychology and legal studies in business at Hofstra University. She says her hobbies switch every few months; she loves to take part in most forms of art, including graphic design, makeup and music! Her biggest goal in life is to be able to serve others by defending civil rights issues in the courtroom, and hopefully one day becoming a judge who will be able to reform the system for the better. We spoke with Aaliyah about why she loves being visibly Muslim, how she handles adversity and when she is at her happiest.
Aaliyah Yunus
Tell us about being a visible Muslim woman – is it something you think about when putting on your hijab and entering the world, what it means to be visible?
Being visibly Muslim means being a representative of the my religion. I take this responsibility as seriously as possible, because I want to be the best representative I can be. I’m also happy to say that putting on my hijab is second nature, part of my routine, and something that most days I don’t even contemplate because it makes me happy that I am a proud, visible Muslim, and everyone knows it!
Why do you choose to be “visible” (meaning identifiably) Muslim with your hijab?
Everyday when I make the choice to put on my hijab, I make sure that I am confident in doing so. For me it is my conscious decision to show the world that this is who I am, that I am proud to be a visible Muslim despite the challenges that may come with it – like the looks or the worry that I am being treated different because of it. Instead of being put down by these obstacles, I choose to let it slide off my shoulders, because I know that what I am doing is for the sake of Allah (S), and nothing is going to deter me from what makes me feel special and different in the world.
Bamboo Printed Woven - Boundless Ambition
The Boundless Ambition Hijab features a creative geometric print on our sustainably produced and ultra-soft bamboo woven fabric. It features all of bamboo's powerful benefits including built-in sun protection, breathability, anti-bacterial properties and superior moisture wicking for a fresh, comfortable feeling. Available in our Standard rectangle size, make sure you snag this one before it's gone!
What do you love about wearing hijab? Or what is your struggle/challenge (if you have one) in wearing it?
Honestly, my favorite part about wearing a hijab is matching [hijabs and outfits]. I love to bring in different and contrasting colors to enhance my outfit and complete my entire look. Even the type of hijab that I wear makes a huge difference. For fancier days I may choose to wear silk and for more relaxed days, I may choose to wear woven. It all depends on the style!
What do you want our Haute Hijab community and Muslim women everywhere to know about you?
I am someone who likes finding joy and happiness with other people and making them feel good. I try to be as unproblematic as possible, because not many trivial things matter in this life – what’s important is how you treat others and being the best Muslim and person you can be. I want to live my life by these values and just enjoy it along the way. I don’t give up easily when someone isn’t treated right, and I’ll stand up for them. But, I am also always open to learning and understanding and seeing a different perspective in all situations.
When are you at your happiest, content, or really feeling yourself?
I am definitely at my happiest and content when I put on a full face of bomb makeup, a fancy hijab and clothes that make me feel like I'm on top of the world. Some may not believe it, but getting dressed up and really loving the way you look for yourself can brighten anyone's day!
What do you do or how do you manage when you’re feeling low or down?
When I'm feeling down, I usually love to sit around the family and feel the love from them all. I also try to remember Allah (S), and that everything that I go through in this world happens for a reason. My favorite verse from the Quran that I remember constantly says, with hardship comes ease" [Surah Al-Inshirah], and that's what really gets me going!
When you heard about our call out for everyday women for this photoshoot, what motivated you to be a part of this photoshoot?
I wanted to show my love for being a visible Muslim wearing hijab. I also wanted to prove that even if someone may not fit the typical "model look," it's still possible to be on the front page of a magazine or the main page of a website. Being given this opportunity to model for this brand is allowing me to show others that anyone can do it no matter your age, body type, religion or race, and that's what makes me really happy.
How important is it for Muslim women to see themselves represented in these types of campaigns?
It is so important for Muslim women to see that they can be represented in a campaign like this. Nowadays it's more common to see Muslim women represented in different brands, and it gives women and girls the confidence to to show themselves in their everyday lives for who they are and for what they represent rather than hiding. This gives us the confidence to believe that we are not different and shouldn't be treated negatively for how we look or what we believe.
What do you want the world to know about you? What do you want to plug about the work you do or your goals in life?
I am someone who dedicates her life to making others happy and serving others. This is what brings me joy and in my life I wish to be able to do this in ways that I am passionate about, like in the justice system. My biggest goal is to become the first Muslim hijab-wearing Supreme Court Justice, and I know I'm not the only one with that dream. I believe one day that there will be a Muslim up there representing her religion and her values and showing the world that we are more than just stereotypes. (I just hope it will be me!)
What do you want your legacy to be? What do you hope to do while you're here on earth, living your life?
Regardless of what I accomplish in life, I really want to be known as someone who cared for others and did everything in her power to treat people with kindness. My values revolve around being good to people and living so that no one will look back on my life and have any negative views. I hope one day that this will be true and that it is so now.
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