Advertisement

Celebrating Muslim Women's Day with Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

In celebration of Muslim Women's Day on March 27, we caught up with Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, the founder of Muslim Girl, which is a pioneering media platform dedicated to amplifying the voices of Muslim women.

Amani's journey in activism and advocacy for Muslim women's rights began at a young age and her work has made significant strides in reshaping narratives and promoting inclusivity worldwide. With recent achievements like being offered a seat at Oxford for International Human Rights Law, Amani continues to be a beacon of empowerment and inspiration for women worldwide.

In this exclusive interview, Amani delves into her experiences, aspirations and insights into the intersection of feminism, Islam and activism in today's world.

You have now been offered a seat at Oxford for International Human Rights Law. What do you hope to do with your degree?

It feels surreal as the granddaughter of survivors from Deir Yassin, Palestine, to have the opportunity to study human rights at Oxford, especially at a time when it's more relevant than ever before. I never imagined that my first term studying international human rights law would coincide with a real-time case study of my people. I accepted my seat in the program without hesitation because it represents the natural progression of our work. Muslim Girl was launched as a Muslim-owned media platform with the intention of reclaiming our narratives, eliminating stereotypes and promoting tolerance and understanding, so that we can influence the policies shaping our lives.

Your journey in activism and advocating for Muslim women's rights and social justice began when you were just a teenager. How do you feel about this moment in your evolution?

I deleted all of my 1000+ Instagram posts to recalibrate and focus on what's truly important. There's no way I can feel anything except that I can never be the same person again. My mother passed away in July and then the Palestinian genocide erupted less than three months later. Simultaneously, I made this huge career move into a completely new field, never imagining that all of these events would coincide at the same time. I'm now living a completely different life from what I was just six months ago and it's not entirely in line with what I had planned on my vision board. However, the timing of everything feels like it happened for a reason. I feel like I'm awakening to my real purpose and there's no turning back.

How do you envision your relationship with fashion evolving to align with today's world?

When I designed my adidas Originals capsule collection, it marked the first time a major athletic brand featured a product with keffiyeh patterns and the colors of the Palestine flag. It was crucial to me that our collaboration shattered barriers in an industry often guilty of cultural appropriation. Adidas was a powerful partner and empowered my styling and creative direction, allowing the collection to authentically reflect my vision.

We're living in the most fast-paced world ever, where social media often fosters a sense of constantly chasing trends and temporary algorithmic highs to stay relevant. Personally, I find little meaning in this pursuit if it lacks purpose. What's the value of being the most technology-fluent and connected generation if we fail to utilize it for meaningful ends? Today's youth seeks to support brands that stand for something beyond profit. Whether it's in sourcing, sustainability, ethical labor practices or other aspects, our fashion choices are inherently political in today's world.

What role do you think online platforms should play in advancing the causes you support and amplify?

One of the hottest topics right now is digital censorship. I'm proud that, with Muslim Girl , we've been advocating for our voices on a global scale. One initiative we've been quick to activate is leading a coalition of national organizations to engage Meta against the Palestine censorship we're seeing taking place across Facebook, Instagram and other platforms.

Young people are more powerful than ever before because not only do we have social media, but we literally reside on it. That's our territory. We're constantly innovating new ways to leverage it and making our own rules for what's cool and how to use it. Our access and connectedness are unprecedented and for that reason, we're simply unstoppable. That's why we have to sanctify and empower our freedom in our online spaces now more than ever.