Hijabi of the Month April 2014 - Noura Barazi
Posted on Apr 03, 2014
April's Hijabi of the Month was nominated by her cousin Taghreed who had this to say about her, "I am nominating Noura because she is the epitome of a middle child...right in the center of eight children. She is quiet, calm, and understated. Within the past few years she has totally blossomed into her own...surprising us all. Confident, beautiful, and unique."
"The philosophy of Islam is simple and clear, believe in God and do good, any good, whatever you are able to do. It's about the effort and intentions rather than the results." Although seeing results is a main priority, it takes time and patience. This is one of my most favorite quotes to live by. My parents immigrated from Syria, so my siblings and I are all first generation Syrian-Americans. Being one of eight children with very traditionally oriented parents has been not only a struggle but a blessing in many ways. A blessing in that I have had the opportunity to see many different perspectives, first hand, on culture and societal shifts that many young American-Muslims have to deal with. It is an everyday struggle, but it makes me stronger and more of who I am today. I am 21 years old and have lived my whole life in a small town in Ohio. I've worked at a Michael Kors retail store for about 3 years now and I love it! I am a junior at Kent State University and am currently working on a bachelors in Psychology. One day I hope to pursue a career in helping young Muslim-Americans adjust and cope with cultural/traditional differences and societal pressures. Be sure to check out her blog and follow her on Instagram at _nourabarazi!
1) When did you start wearing hijab? Tell us a little about your journey!
It started out as following in the foot steps of my older sisters. They all started wearing hijab their sophomore year of high school, so thats when I planned on becoming a hijabi. My mentality at that time was, if I put it on sooner, it would be easier versus putting it off and becoming more and more attached to my physical appearance without hijab. I permanently wore it the summer before my sophomore year when I attended MYNA camp, which really helped me build up my iman, especially for hijab. Being the only Muslim in my entire high school, my nerves were wrecked for my first day at school. I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to handle their judgmental stares and my friends weren't going to want to by my friends anymore. Luckily, it was a lot easier than I thought because my four older sisters paved the way for me in the same exact school. I'm sure I've faced similar challenges as many as other young hijabi's did, but since I'm going to be completely honest, many of them were superficial which I overcame with spirituality and in turn strengthened myself as an individual.
2) Tell us about your blog, Noura & Co., how did you get started?
Instead of conforming to the typical fashion world, I started the Noura & Co. fashion blog. I found a balance between the mainstream fashion world and modesty into my Islamic lifestyle. I hope that with my blog I can inspire Muslim girls around the world to express themselves without having to sacrifice their beliefs. One of my main goals with my fashion blog is to feature other hijabi's that wish to share their very own style and pay it forward.
3) What's your go-to outfit as a hijabi?
My go-to outfit right now is my favorite pair of boyfriend jeans, that can be found anywhere, my oversized Michael Kors sweater and my favorite pair of pointed flats that I bought from Nordstroms. I love the loose and flowy look. It's not only super comfortable but it has such a chic vibe.
4) What's the best piece of advice anyone's ever given you?
The best piece of advice I have ever received was from Ustaz Usama Canon. Even though I have heard this quote before, he interpreted it in a way that made me feel comfortable and at ease: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." By reading in between the lines of this prayer what should come to realization is that worry should be completely eliminated in my life and my thoughts. Usama Canon explained to me that worry was a man made aspect, it was an excuse to make us feel weak and alone…when in reality we have Allah (swt) on our side and in our hearts. How could we possibly be worried about our everyday struggles and hardships we may face, when our creator is The Maker of Order (Al-Bari'), The Reliever (Al-Basit), and The Satisfier of All Needs (As-Samad).
5) What/who are some positive influences you had growing up?
All of my seven of my sisters have had the most positive influences on me. I feel lucky to be close to all of my sisters. They are all so different and unique and they have all opened up my eyes to so many new things in this world. Without them, I don't know where I would be. There's nothing like having someone to be able to turn to without judgment and being able to confide in them.
6) If you could give one piece of advice to someone struggling with hijab, what would it be?
My number one piece of advice is to look at your iman like a glass of water. You have to always be thirsty for it and constantly refill the cup. It is one of the most important aspects in finding yourself spiritually. If you are struggling with hijab, you should turn to the One that is always there for you, Allah (S). He will answer all of your questions and guide you in the right direction and you will be able to literally feel your iman strengthening. And when you are feeling weak again, repeat the process…fill the cup back up.
Is there someone you'd like to nominate for Hijabi of the Month? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org!