10 Muslim Women Bosses Making Their Mark!
Posted on Mar 20, 2019
By Nargis Hakim Rahman
In honor of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting 10 phenomenal women who are making their mark in numerous areas of industry, leading the entrepreneurial way to creating a splash in history. From a cultural anthropologist, to fashion designers to therapists, these women have kept faith at the center of their drive and are paving paths for generations to come. We put out the call to gather names, and you answered in droves - so many powerful Muslim women bosses that whittling it down to a few was a difficult feat! By no means does this list even begin to cover all the fantastic Muslim women we’d love to highlight, but it’s a start!
Check out these 10 entrepreneurs below!
1. Halimah DeOliveira - @beyouinhd
Halimah DeOliveira is all about building confidence in young girls and women. She is an award-winning author who wrote, “Not Without My Hijab: 11 Steps to Reclaiming Your Faith,” which was later created into a play at Harvard University. Halimah aspires to help young girls feel confident in their hijab. Her book highlights cultural, personal and professional dilemmas and how to overcome them across cultures and all walks of life. She is the founder and CEO of “Be You in HD,” which provides 1:1 coaching for Muslim women.
2. Hoda Katebi @hodakatebi
Hoda Katebi may be best known for her responses to reporters on a Chicago news station asking Islamophobic questions about nuclear weapons and her stance on whether Iran should go back to a time before hijab was worn. She was told, “You don’t sound like an American,” when she said the U.S. is a country with a legacy of creating war. But what may be her biggest accomplishment is opening the Blue-Tin Productions fashion production co-op for Chicago’s immigrant and refugee women, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S. The Iranian-American political fashion writer, who was born in Oklahoma, also has a popular blog called JooJoo Azad and a book titled “Tehran Streetstyle.” Hoda has also been featured in the New York Times, Teen Vogue, TNT, Mothering Jones, and Refinery29.
3. Zarinah El-Amin Naeem @enliven.your.soul
Zarinah El-Amin Naeem is a lover of travel, art and self-development through connection. She is the founder of Beautifully Wrapped & The Headwrap Expo, held in Metro Detroit. The expo showcases head wraps across cultures, faiths and races. Zarinah is also the founder of Enliven Your Soul, The Globalize Your Mind Summit for Women’s Leadership and Luminary Collective, which encourages women to travel for growth and bring back leadership skills to their communities. Zarinah is a self-described cultural anthropologist, wife, mother and an author. She is the publisher and “chief spiritual officer” for her publishing company, Niyah Publishing and Creative Living. And, she wrote two books - “Like Glue: The Little Book of Marriage Advice we Should have Stuck to from the Beginning (Enliven Your Soul) (Volume 1)” and “Jihad of the Soul: Singlehood and the Search for Love in Muslim America.” (Image: Knight Foundation)
4. Annah Hariri @annah_hariri
Annah is a strong believer in dawah and an ethical workforce. She incorporated this idea into making modest clothes for herself when she converted to Islam and began wearing hijab. She took the idea large scale in September 2012 when she opened her business, the clothing line Annah Hariri, with her husband. She believes her clothing line serves as an act of dawah, as it is enjoyed by Muslims and people of other or non-faiths. Annah also believes in uplifting and supporting the ummah by building her team from various stages of Islamic life to create a unified Muslim workforce. In December 2018, her brand took part in the Modest Fashion Week Dubai, where Annah said she fell in love with the hijab because of its external representation of her spirituality within. She said, “No matter how dark the world gets, be like the star that stands out and shines the way for others to see.” (Image: Screenshot of Annah Hariri from YouTube.com)
5. Eman Idil Bare @emanidil
Eman Idil Bare is the definition of hustle. The journalist-turned-fashion designer has found a way to combine both of her passions - to work for CBS National and start her own fashion line at 23 years of age. She employs women who came to Canada as refugees to stitch her brand together. Last year she took part in New York Fashion Week and showcased her ethically-sourced modest clothing with Black models and worked with a Black photographer. Eman also writes for Teen Vogue, Huffington Post and Muslim Girl and is a fashion editor for The Demureist. She is attending New York Law School to continue her ambitions. (Image: Leaderpost.com)
6. Halima Jama @halimajama
Halima Jama likes reflecting and connecting the dots of history to the present. The Toronto-based Somali-Canadian wedding and events photographer, whose work was featured in an exhibition called “Scratch & Mix” at the Art Gallery of Ontario, has gained great success in her exhibit (and business) by showcasing her parent’s love story as inspiration for pieces in the exhibition. The exhibition also featured work from youth of color. As a photographer, she enjoys taking “then and now” pictures, often recreating the same shots and reflecting on how places have changed with time. Along with her wedding and family photography, Halima features duas, life mantras, travel photography and a positive vibe on her Instagram page. (Image: Instagram)
7. Sudduf Wyne @salamsudduf
Sudduf Wyne drinks her coffee black and knows how to roll with the punches as she takes on motherhood with two-year-old triplets and maximizes her MBA to celebrate faith, sisterhood and her love for business. She also delivers sisterhood-led entrepreneurship, one Salam at a time, as a business consultant and the founder of the Muslim Entrepreneur Association. Through her online members-only association, she supports visionary Muslim women personally and professionally to develop “intention-focused business.” She also runs the Ramadan Market in Mississauga, a concept similar to Christmas market, for Muslims to purchase Ramadan decor, create crafts and connect with other Muslims and the larger community, as well as Salam Sudduf, her business coaching site. (Image: SalamSudduf.com)
She guest contributed for Haute Hijab recently about overcoming the loneliness of motherhood.
8. Salma Malik
Salma Malik knows the importance of a strong support group for parents who have children with disabilities - and having support in your own language. She is an occupational therapist, early intervention provider and the founder of the Klimb2 Autism Services for children with autism and developmental disabilities focusing on underserved communities. The New York-based company provides free training for bilingual and immigrant families with children with disabilities, children’s activities and events and support workshops in various languages, including in Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi. (Image: Stock photo from Klimb2 Autism Services website)
9. Hafsa Taher @hafsacreates
Hafsa Taher is a woman who believes in taking pain and creating it into joy for others through vibrant, colored Islamic-themed cards, gifts and decor. Self-described as a “Happiness Engineer,” Hafsa left her IT job of 10 years to start HafsaCreates six years ago to fill the need for happy and sad occasion cards for Muslims as a means of expressing love and hope. She said jumping into the world of art and design was like learning a foreign language. She sells Ramadan-themed gifts on her platform and runs Muslim Markets for mothers virtually on Instagram with online vendors. Hafsa is also a business coach and trainer for other women bosses. She is often seen with other women bosses spreading positivity and encouragement on Instagram. (Image: Instagram)
10. Saba Maroof Hamzavi @thefeelingsdoc
Saba Maroof Hamzavi knows the power of using your voice to heal and uplift others. She is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist for Heron Ridge Associates as well as a Podcaster. She is the host of the radio show “Unsung Heroes” on PodcastDetroit.com, where she highlights inspirational people in Metro Detroit as well as Muslim American social activists like Hind Makki, Rana Abdelhamid of WISE and Mark Crain and Hazel Gomez from Dream of Detroit. She organizes and participates in several workshops about mental health, child bullying, women empowerment and parenting. (Image: Irum Ibrahim)
Know a great Muslim woman boss you want to tell us about? Comment below! We’ll try and do another round up!
Nargis Hakim Rahman is a Bangladeshi American Muslim writer and a mother of three kids. Nargis graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, and a psychology minor. Nargis is passionate about community journalism in the Greater Detroit area. She hopes to give American Muslims and minorities a voice in the press. Nargis is a fellow for the Feet in 2 Worlds Fellowship/WDET 101.9 FM. She writes for The Muslim Observer, Brown Girl Magazine and Metro Detroit Mommy. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter.