Hijabi of the Month April 2013 - Noor Tagouri
Posted on Apr 04, 2013
This month's Hijabi of the Month is Noor Tagouri from the Washington DC metro area. Noor is a 19-year old Libyan American, studying broadcast journalism and international development conflict management. She works for CBS Radio in DC and aspires to break barriers and stereotypes by becoming the first hijabi news anchor or talk show host on national American television. You can follow her journey on facebook and twitter and be sure to check out her YouTube video, Defining #LetNoorShine.
1) When did you start wearing hijab?
I started wearing hijab after attending Islamic school in 10th grade. I honestly never thought I would wear it, but alhamdulilah I decided to try it out impulsively. I realized that taking on the challenge and commandment of hijab, though it would involve struggle, self-reflection and be a never-ending process, would really give me a sense of identity, protection and a closeness to my Creator. Alhamdulilah it has. However, hijab to me is not just about wearing a scarf on my head, it is about striving for the best character. So, even though I physically started wearing it in high school, I'm still working on myself and working on bettering my hijab.
2) When did you know you wanted to become a journalist?
At 8-years-old, when I first started watching Oprah. I wanted to ask questions and tell stories just like she did.
3) How has hijab impacted your journey in the field of journalism, if at all?
To be honest, when I started wearing hijab, that was when many journalism opportunities started coming to me, alhamdulilah. When I noticed this happening, I knew Allah (S) was making my dream easier while wearing hijab to fulfill what I believe to be my life purpose. Immediately after I started wearing it, I was offered an internship at a local newspaper and eventually became a staff writer (even though I was a high school student). The next major internship I received was at CBS Radio, and it was offered to me right after a spoken word performance I did for World AIDS Day, though it may not have blatantly been given to me because of my hijab, the director of public and community affairs for CBS Radio told me that I had a "synergy" she fell in love with and knew there was "something special" about me. I always thought this had something to do with how I carried myself as a Muslim woman during my performance and when I spoke about my passions to her. I think hijab has been a factor in helping me stand out to people in the industry. They know what I want to do is different. Breaking stereotypes of Muslim women that the media portrays by becoming part of the media, and becoming an on camera face is a cause many people see worth fighting for. I've been blessed with opportunities, mentors, interviews, and many other things in the field of journalism because of what I believe in. Alhamdulilah. I don't base it solely on hijab, but the hijab is definitely a part of my identity that has, by the mercy of God, contributed to the path I've been blessed to be on.
4) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Inshallah breaking barriers and stereotypes by telling the world truth and giving a voice to the voiceless through American media.
5) What is one motto or statement that you live by?
Alhamdulilah. The phrase is always on the tip of my tongue, alhamdulilah. I can’t stress enough the importance of giving thanks.
6) If you could give one piece of advice to someone struggling with hijab, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to be empowered. Defining who you are in the public eye with the hijab is a form of empowerment, and anyone who is empowered like that will get stares and feel uncomfortable at times. Remember to make those moments positive and enlighten others on who you are as a person.
Is there someone you'd like to nominate for HOTM? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.