With the launch of our season 3 came the introduction of a new series on our media platform called ‘Official Hijabi of the Month’ celebrating brilliant, hardworking, and inspiring Muslim women in our community and beyond.
This Month’s Official Hijabi of the Month of January is the beautiful Kareemah of HijabiGlobeTrotter.
Kareemah is a recent University graduate from Toledo, Ohio who decided to take a break from the common pattern of life to pursue her goal in becoming fluent in Spanish, and hopefully travel the world.
Her love for traveling began during her first trip abroad at the age of six and ever since, she has always craved more!
Culture, language learning, connecting with people and traveling is something she finds great pleasure in.
Kareemah has gone through many obstacles in pursuing her dreams of moving to Spain and learning Spanish. Through her blog, Hijabiglobetrotter (HGT), she hopes to share her life experiences as well as the stories of other underrepresented individuals whose voices and projects need to be known. In addition, she would like to give the world an insight on what it’s actually like to be a Muslim in today’s century.
When Kareemah is not traveling or learning a new language, she is reading a blog post or a book. She also enjoys watching comedy shows, partaking in outdoor activities, and trying new cultural dishes. You can connect with Kareemah on her website, Instagram @hijabiglobetrotter, or Facebook!
When did you start wearing hijab? Tell us a little about your journey.
I started “officially” wearing the hijab when I was a Junior in High school. I say officially because I used to wear it partly when I was out of the school premises but not wear it when I was in school.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone struggling with hijab, what would it be?
Don’t wear the hijab if it’s not coming from you. It’s so sad to see many lovely sisters wearing the hijab solely because their parents force them to or it is an obligatory expectation from the community to appear pious. We need to remind ourselves that hijab is not just the piece of cloth on our head. Hijab is about Modesty. How we act, what we say and the decisions we make. To be honest wearing the hijab is not always an easy task. There will be times and situations where your deen would be tested and in moments like these, your true belief of the hijab is what would build you up or break you down. So to those of you struggling with the hijab, sit down and genuinely ask yourself why you wear the hijab? What is your understanding of the hijab? How is your Iman level and how are you trying to get better? What does Allah want of us? At the end of the day, we are all striving for Jannah. Allah alone would judge us from what’s in our hearts.
P.S. for my hijabi sisters who are being tested, remember that with every hardship there is relief. Don’t give up.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Coming to Spain, I didn’t know what to expect. Although, I had some concerns that I might experience a little bit of hostility towards me as a Muslim due to the widespread of Islamophobia in Europe. However for the time being in Spain’s Capital, I have experienced nothing but kindness from many of the locals. Although many of them don’t understand my Islamic values or customs they make an extra mille when it comes to helping people. It’s the little things the locals do that restore my faith in humanity. For example; I’ve had neighbors say to me “You look new here, welcome to our community” or “Remember we are your neighbors, please talk to us, if you need anything or someone to chat with”. This type of accommodating attitude is what I never imagined prior to coming to Spain.
What is your best travel tip for a Muslim woman traveling to a foreign land?
Always reach out to the Muslims of the new place you are visiting. I mean who doesn’t want to get halal inside tips of hidden gems in a city. You can reach out through Facebook, Instagram or other social networks. You never know what kind of long lasting friendship this might bring.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing the Muslim ummah today?
Fear of being a Muslim. In today’s society whereby there are many negative representation of what a Muslim is, it’s hard for Muslims to feel safe leaving their own homes. Muslims are afraid that they could be attacked, humiliated or denied opportunities for showcasing their values. This is why for some Muslims, traveling means being exposed to possible negative repercussions.
Although it is hard these days due to the daily negative images being portrayed about Islam. Muslims should not cower, but take this initiative to be better Muslims. First by working on Muslim communities and also being present or reaching out to your local communities (neighborhoods, town councils, work place, volunteer organizations).
This is the time more than ever that Muslims should travel. Travelling would help you refresh your mind and gain new perspectives of life. It would also expose you to people who have never met a Muslim before and hopefully leave a positive impression.
Favorite Quote or Hadith of the Prophet?
“Whoever Allah wants good for him/her, he puts them to the test. He puts them through difficulties; like a diamond or gold that has to be burnt after which anything bad from it is removed so that what you have is the pure diamond or the pure gold…”- Bukhari, Muslim
Would you like to nomite someone for Official-Hijabi TV of the month?
Send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org!