Sometimes it just takes one woman with a vision to bring positive change, right where it’s needed. That’s why we at Ummahsonic are loving 31-year-old entrepreneur Nazia Nasreen and her ‘toys for Muslim kids’ venture, which is currently making headlines around the world.
Nazia has designed a range of ‘Muslim Barbies’ – affectionately known as ‘Hijarbies’, colourful prayer mats, Quran cards and Arabic letter blocks to fill a gap that she identified in the market. She couldn’t find the toys she wanted for her kids, so she started selling them instead.
But Nazia’s vision goes deeper than that. By creating and selling Muslim-focused toys for children she hopes to not only bring bright depictions of Islam into people’s homes but also battle the threat of radicalisation. The colourful store is called the Ibraheem Toy House and it’s selling to customers all over the globe. At the moment, the UK is her biggest market, along with the US.
She told a national newspaper: “A lot of times children learn the wrong things and that’s where the extremism kicks in. If the right educational toys and books are provided from a young age, we can instill the correct Islamic ethos and values in our children.”
She says she wants her children to grow up being proud of their religion and heritage and knowing the truth about Islam. Seeing an increase in representation of Muslims amongst everyday toys can only be a good thing.
News outlets have jumped on the story, taking Nazia’s message wider than she could have imagined when she launched her company just two years ago. It’s also taking a lighthearted look at Muslim life into the mainstream press.
We’re loving the Ibraheem Toy House; it’s not only an inspiring initiative to young entrepreneurs but Nazia is an inspiration to us all.