18mr:

It’s not every day that Seventeen Magazine does something I get amped about, but featuring Ainee Fatima just happens to be one of them!Fatima writes: “I was tired of being stereotyped as a Muslim, so I stopped wearing my headscarf, or hijab, to blend in. But something else happened—I became shy, quiet. It wasn’t until I signed up for my school’s slam poetry team that I felt free to be honest about the pressures of trying to balance my religion with being an American girl…Performing made me feel powerful, and soon I didn’t want to blend in anymore. I started wearing my hijab again; it reminded me I have the freedom to speak my mind when so many girls don’t.”

"There’s still prejudice out there, but that just means I have to speak louder!" –Ainee Fatima

18mr:

It’s not every day that Seventeen Magazine does something I get amped about, but featuring Ainee Fatima just happens to be one of them!

Fatima writes: “I was tired of being stereotyped as a Muslim, so I stopped wearing my headscarf, or hijab, to blend in. But something else happened—I became shy, quiet. It wasn’t until I signed up for my school’s slam poetry team that I felt free to be honest about the pressures of trying to balance my religion with being an American girl…Performing made me feel powerful, and soon I didn’t want to blend in anymore. I started wearing my hijab again; it reminded me I have the freedom to speak my mind when so many girls don’t.”

"There’s still prejudice out there, but that just means I have to speak louder!" –Ainee Fatima

An Interview with Aroona Toor

By Varaxy Yi, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Aroona ToorAroona Toor is a junior at Saint Louis University in Saint Louis, Missouri. She is a global citizen, having emigrated to the U.S. when she was four, and is currently studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. When asked to describe her story in six words, she said, “Immigrant-Pakistani-Muslim-Urdu-English”, all characterizations of the most important and salient aspects of her identity. As an aspiring scholar in Education Administration with a desire to help facilitate the transition for students like Aroona, I am especially interested in her stories and her family’s stories and found great fulfillment in learning more about her.

Aroona is proudly and deeply influenced by her family, especially her parents and grandfather, who were great advocates for education and instilled in her a deep appreciation for hard work and knowledge. Her father used to walk a mile every day to school and was able to complete the 10th grade. He was motivated to make his children’s lives better and wanted his children to have the opportunities for higher education that he was unable to achieve. Aroona’s mother is a nurse and wishes the same for her children. Aroona’s grandfather was a teacher and also an advocate for education. For the sake of their children, they all sacrificed the comforts of home. Aroona is grateful for her family, who has taught her to take advantage of opportunities and appreciate all she has been given. She is humbled with all she has been given.

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Strength in Numbers

By Ali Anwar, APIASF/GMS Scholar

As an active member of SMU’s chapter of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), I have spent countless hours volunteering, organizing events, and serving as an ambassador to represent and uphold the values of Islam. After an entire year of serving MSA, I sincerely believe that my diverse experiences – ranging from collecting donations for Pakistan Flood Relief to building houses for Habitat for Humanity – have made me a more caring member of the community. However, despite all of the charitable work I have done, there is one thing that continues to bother me: the negative stereotypes targeting Muslims.

As students of color, there is no doubt that we have all faced negative stereotyping at some point in our lives. The stereotype that I have had to fight relates to the images presented by the media that depict Islam as a violent and hateful religion. It seemed to me that every service MSA engaged in the community was overshadowed and ultimately erased by one news headline after another. But with patience and perseverance, I chose to continue fighting these stereotypes.

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Dr. Abdus Salam: A Forgotten Hero

By Faiza Zafar, APIASF/GMS Scholar


Dr. Abdus Salam, Steven Weinberg, and Sheldon L. Glashow were the three recipients of Nobel Prize in physics in 1979. Three of them worked separately but determinedly to achieve the goal of Einstein; which was to unify all the four forces of nature into a single one. Fortunately, these three great scientists unified two out of the four forces and achieved this great honor and distinction.

I chose to write about Dr. Abdus Salam because he was the first Pakistani to receive such an honor. As we all know, Pakistan is a prominent country in Asia. In addition to being the first Pakistani, he was also the first Muslim to receive Nobel Prize in Science and Asia has 70% Muslims. Dr. Abdus Salam despite being a first Pakistani and Muslim to receive such an honor is considered a forgotten hero. It is because Pakistanis and Muslims try to not give that much fame to him as he belongs to a sect in Islam which extremists consider Non-Muslims. In Pakistan, Dr Salam received some recognition at government level, but he was not allowed to visit universities and colleges to lecture and meet with students as he had wanted to because certain extremist students had threatened to burn down the halls where he was scheduled to speak since he belong to a different group of Muslims. These were the obstacles which he faced later in his life; now, let me start with his early life.

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