Summer 2018 Newsletter: Models, Moguls, and Muslims

Photograph featuring Zareen Jaffery, Maz Jobrani, Wajahat Ali, and Halima Aden, and Amani Al KhatahtbehWe’re pleased to unveil our 2018 summer newsletter, "Models, Moguls, and Muslims: Artists Against Islamophobia," spotlighting Muslim Americans in the arts and media who are using their platform to challenge stereotypes and take action against Islamophobia.

Over the next five weeks, we will delve into the lives and careers of Maz Jobrani, Zareen Jaffrey, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, and Halima Aden, who use comedy, publishing, tech, and fashion, respectively, to carve out a space for Muslim American voices in the mainstream. We're also presenting an essay from journalist and playwright Wajahat Ali on the ways that arts and culture can shape public perceptions and reverse political repression.

“Most Americans only know Islam and Muslims through pop culture and media headlines, which often paint a portrait of violence, anger, and extremism. Luckily, a new generation of Muslim artists, storytellers, and influencers have stepped up to challenge this dominant narrative,” writes essayist Wajahat Ali.

Accompanying the articles will be a social media campaign highlighting some of our favorite quotes from the newsletter. The images can be found below, as well as on all our online platforms—help us spread the words of these remarkable individuals and their efforts to change the narrative of Muslims in America by downloading and sharing your favorite graphics. Also make sure to sign up for our mailing list for future articles and newsletters!

Wajahat Ali, author and journalist

Wajahat Ali, author and journalist

Halima Aden, model

Halima Aden, model

Zareen Jaffery, executive editor of Salaam Reads

Photograph of executive editor of Salaam Reads, Zareen Jaffery, with quote: When we help a child feel like they can be the protagonist instead of just the sidekick, later on, they will feel they deserve the same rights as everyone else.”Zareen Jaffery, executive editor of Salaam Reads

Photograph of actor and comedian Maz Jobrani, with quote “There were already enough negative stereotypes of Middle Easterners in film and TV. I didn’t need to exacerbate that.”Maz Jobrani, actor and comedian

Photograph of actor and comedian Maz Jobrani, with quote “When I have a stand-up comedy special and you see Iranians or Arabs in the audience laughing, it shows Americans that we actually laugh. You don’t always see that in mainstream media.”Maz Jobrani, actor and comedian

Photograph of Amani Al Khatahtbeh, with quote: “Media misrepresentation has magnified our differences in very divisive way, and it’s resulted in life or death consequences for marginalized communities”Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, author and tech entrepreneur

Photograph of Amani Al Khatahtbeh, with quote: “In times like these, the best thing we can do for ourselves and our cause is to stay true to voices and our experiences, no matter how much our voices shake.Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, author and tech entrepreneur

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Read the newsletter >

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  • In Support of DACA

    2017 was a tumultuous year for immigration policy in the United States, with several controversial restrictions issued by the new administration. As former refugees and green card holders, our founders Jan and Marica Vilcek share their thoughts on these policies.