In case you didn’t know, Galentine’s Day is a thing.
The name was originally the title of a season two episode of Parks and Recreation. In it, the female characters decide to forgo traditional Valentine’s Day and instead show mad love for each other. It’s ladies celebrating ladies, and in the eight years since the episode aired Galentine’s Day has transcended the show and become an unofficial event in its own right.
So this year, we’re jumping on the bandwagon by shouting out a few ladies we’d want to spend G-Day 2018 with. They’re all faces who have appeared on Ummahsonic in the past year, so treat this blog as a celebration of recent Muslim girl power.
A few months back Selina Begum, a teenager from Newham, became the first state school student to win the individual prize in an Eton debating contest. The 16-year-old defeated 200 other competitors – most of whom represented private schools like Winchester College, Westminster and Eton.
We know that hanging out with Selina would remind anyone to never, ever doubt themselves. As she said after her victory: ‘The things that you didn’t think you could do, you quickly realise you actually can.’
Surely everyone has heard of Dina Torkia by now? To quote ourselves (sorry), her ‘vlogs/blogs/tweets/Instagrams offer an exceptionally on-point look at what it means to be a Muslim woman, mother, money-maker, and a hijabi in the UK.’
Representation is important, and Dina is helping to change the face of UK media (and beyond) by being completely, unapologetically herself. Who wouldn’t want her at their Galentine’s Day shindig?
The All-Girl Afghan Robotics Team
In 2017, Kawsar Rashan, Lida Azizi, Somayeh Faruqi, and Rodaba Noori took prizes in two separate global robotics competitions. The Afghan team’s first victory – at the FIRST Global Challenge robotics competition in Washington DC – was made all the more impressive by their route to the competition: the US State Department had to intervene after their visas were initially denied.
They’d definitely join us on Galentine’s Day because they epitomise the importance of education, the excitement of innovation, and the importance of unity between nations.
And who knows? Maybe they’ll invent something one day that changes the world.
Every Woman Involved in the Muslim Sisterhood Project
For the photographer Lamisa Khan and artists Zeinab Saleh and Sara Gulamali, cultural representations of Muslim women in the UK are limited. They are either viewed as oppressed or lauded for being highly westernised.
Wanting to promote the visibility of ‘normal’ Muslim woman, the trio co-founded Muslim Sisterhood, a photo project that capturess, ‘normal Muslim girls who aren’t bloggers, fashionistas or “stereotype breakers”.’
We want to include every woman involved in Muslim Sisterhood in our Galentine’s Day celebrations. They remind us that you don’t have to have done anything special to be considered a special woman.
Happy Galentine’s Day, ladies!