Mona Haydar’s simple yet courageous stand to highlight the humanity of Muslim-Americans is a powerful testimony in an increasingly Islamophobic world.
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Raised in Flint, Michigan, Mona has been active for over a decade in the spoken word poetry community. She blends her spirituality, environmentalism, and activism together to offer classes and retreats on mindfulness and Islamic spirituality, workshops on creative writing, and poetry performances.
In 2015, Mona and her husband, Sebastian, set up a stand in Cambridge, Massachusetts with a sign reading “Ask a Muslim,” encouraging open and loving dialogue to replace the trauma of bigotry with healing and humanity. Her message has spread virally, garnering the attention of The New York Times, NPR, Al Jazeera, and The Boston Globe among other media outlets, and inspired thousands across the globe.
The “Ask a Muslim” campaign was featured by Microsoft for their 2016 holiday commercial, “Spread Harmony,” which promoted ordinary people who offer a vision of “hope, peace and beauty.”
In 2017, Mona went viral for her song titled “hijabi” in which she challenged orientalist narratives about Muslim women through her lyrics and video.
She is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she received her Bachelor’s Degree. Mona has also studied Arabic and Islamic spirituality in Damascus, Syria, and practiced sustainable living in the mountains of Northern New Mexico at Lama Foundation. A wife and mother of two, Mona is currently getting her Masters in Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
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