Rawan Elbaba is a digital storyteller and blogger in the Washington, DC Metro area. She is the co-founder and Executive Editor of Layali Webzine. As a graduate of Communication and Graphic Design, Rawan hopes to use both written and visual content to tell the stories happening around her. Rawan previously interned at Al Jazeera and BBC in their news production units. She is currently the Digital Media Associate at the Arab American Institute in Washington, DC.

All posts by Rawan Elbaba

Nike set to release ‘Nike Pro Hijab’ for its Muslim athletes

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Nike is finally representing its female Muslim consumers as its sets out to release the “Nike Pro Hijab.” Read More

For the love of basketball: How this Muslimah is challenging FIBA’s hijab ban

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Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, 26, was an exceptional high school basketball player. As her school’s valedictorian, she excelled both on the court and in the classroom. She ultimately went on to set the Massachusetts state record for both boys and girls for most points scored (Abdul-Qaadir scored a record 3,070 points, breaking the previous record of 2,740) during her senior year. Read More

Meet Minnesota’s first hijabi beauty queen

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Nineteen-year-old Halima Aden was just a typical undecided college student. That is, until she decided to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. After getting the OK from pageant officials on her decision to don a “burkini” during the swimwear portion of the night, Aden was well on her way to making history as Minnesota’s first hijabi pageant contestant. Read More

17 Hajj essentials to pack in your bag

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As one of the world’s largest gatherings each year, Hajj or the annual pilgrimage to Mecca is incredibly physically, spiritually and mentally exhausting. However, it is also one of the most rewarding, if not the most rewarding experience you will have gone through in your lifetime.

Preparing for any trip is difficult and anxiety-inducing, so we can imagine just how strenuous packing for unknown conditions in that heat of Saudi Arabia. But fret no more, we have come up with the perfect packing list all ready for you. A packing list makes any kind of travel a little easier, so if that’s what it takes to make your Hajj experience more spiritual and less mind-consuming, then let’s get to it.

Note that there are specific restrictions when you are in the state of ihram, or whefeatn you have made the intention to perform the Hajj. For example, you cannot lather on anything that is scented and there is no clipping, cutting, or shaving of hair allowed.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the perfect essentials to bring with you on your journey to Mecca.

  1. Unscented hand sanitizer and/or sanitizing wipes
  2. 2-3 lightweight abayas
  3. Light jersey scarves (we love these)
  4. Umbrella (for when sun just won’t quit)
  5. Extra hair ties (you can never have enough)
  6. Comfortable shoes (you’ll be walking A LOT)
  7. Fanny pack for all of your items you cannot leave behind like money, passports, etc. (And yes, there is such a thing as a cute fanny pack)
  8. Tissues
  9. First Aid Kit (and don’t forget the Advil)
  10. Face towel
  11. Unscented face moisturizer/sunscreen
  12. Prayer rug
  13. Quran and any other duaa, or supplication, books you want to bring along
  14. Eye drops (if you wear contacts, you’ll thank me later)
  15. Personal fan
  16. Protein bars
  17. List of all the personalized duaa you want to make for friends and family (you’ll want to have this handy either in your phone or on a sheet of paper you can carry around)

You can even personalize this list, adding some of your own essentials for Hajj. And there you have it, folks. Enjoy this life-changing experience and make sure keep us in your duaas!

 

Baking with purpose: The incredible way this woman serves her community

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Combining California flavors with a passion for social justice, Reem Assil has always wanted to positively impact her community.

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This man takes selfies with Muslims to combat Islamophobia

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Many of us have heard of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s ridiculous plan to ban all Muslims from coming into the United States. His plan sparked a discussion about Islamophobia across the United States and abroad. While many condemned Trump’s ban, some have gone so far as to support it, further developing fear mongering and bigotry in our societies.

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Meet world traveler, Haifa Beseisso

At almost 25, Haifa Beseisso has traveled to more countries than most people her age. A filmmaker in her own right, Haifa began her journey documenting the eclectic personalities she meets on her travels across the globe. Read More