The Song in Her Heart

Amal Awad speaks to Göknur Shanal, an opera singer from Australia who is working to live out her dream. It’s not often you meet someone who can single-handedly and dramatically, alter the mood of a packed room. At a recent panel for local community group the Justice and Arts Network (JAAN), there was a palpable shift … Read more

Fathiiah Hamzah: Lightbringer for Children with HIV/AIDS

Although much medical progress has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, judgemental attitudes persist. Afia R Fitriati brings us the story of one woman doing her bit to change misconceptions and transform sufferers’ lives. For some, the thought of working with people who have HIV and AIDS may conjure sombre images of disease and death. But … Read more

A Social Entrepreneur’s Faith

An energetic Singaporean Muslimah opens up to Afia R Fitriatiabout giving back to the community that supports her. Sometimes it takes a stumbling block to make one see the true path to oneself. This is what happened to Rozi Faith, a young Singaporean woman who has been actively involved in various social and da’wah activities in … Read more

Advocating Acceptance for Muslims Living with HIV/AIDS

Muslims living with HIV/AIDS are a neglected and stigmatized community. Hakeemah Cummings speaks to the founder of Reaching All HIV+ Muslims in America (RAHMA), who is working to raise awareness in the community. Passion is a force that drives motivated individuals to create remarkable changes in the world. It is the only encouragement that true … Read more

Tortured Syrian Activist’s Hopes Tempered by War

Syrian activist Ola (who wanted her face not to be pictured) poses on January 19, 2014, in the southern Turkey city of Gaziantep. Despite 15 months of torture and ill-treatment in Syria’s notorious prisons, Ola grudgingly supports holding peace talks with the regime that jailed her. The 23-year-old, with pale skin, short hair and a … Read more

Maha Abdo: Tapping Women’s Strengths from Within

Muslim women can create great change in their communities and at a wider societal level when they put their heads together. Amal Awadspeaks to Maha Abdo, who has led the charge over the last two decades. Maha Abdo doesn’t like talking about herself. The well-respected CEO of the Muslim Women’s Association (MWA), based in Sydney, … Read more

Malala Nominated for ‘Children’s Nobel’

STOCKHOLM, February 5, 2014 – Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban, was nominated for the World Children’s Prize in Sweden on Wednesday for championing education rights for girls. “She is a child herself and she stands up for girls’ rights to education in Pakistan, but also in … Read more

Rowing Her Way to Gold

The inspirational Muslimah who clinched Singapore’s first individual gold medal in rowing at the Southeast Asian Games speaks to Najwa Abdullah. She shares how she, too, struggles to get started exercising, and how persistence and strong commitment is essential. Fresh from winning her first gold medal in rowing for Singapore at the recent Southeast Asian Games … Read more

‘Comedy is provocation in a funny and subtle manner’

Indonesian stand-up comedian Sakdiyah Ma’ruf challenges women’s issues and religious extremism with her razor-sharp wit. She spoke to Najwa Abdullah. “How do you feel about being Muslim in Indonesia?” asked stand-up comedian Sakdiyah Ma’ruf at the beginning of our conversation. “It’s [something so] normal that you almost can’t see what is wrong, what goes wrong, or if … Read more