Today’s #MovementMonday is on Rana AbdelHamid. At age 16, Rana founded the Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE) as a self-defense, leadership and entrepreneurship program for young Muslim women in New York City. WISE was founded partly due to a terrifying encounter that Rana experienced in New York where a man tried to tear her hijab off her head. Over the past five years, WISE has engaged hundreds of participants through its programs with chapters in NY, Texas, NJ, Washington D.C., Edinburgh, Dublin and Madrid.
She has organised around human rights issues with Amnesty International USA for the past eight years on campaigns related to women’s right. In addition, she has several awards to her name including the Angel Leadership Award (2012), Dean’s Extraordinary Emerging Leader Award (2013), Leo Nevas Youth Advocate Award (2014) and Running Start’s Rising Political Star Award (2015).
Rana is also the founder of the social media project ‘Hijabis of New York’ which aims to diversify and elevate the narrative surrounding Muslim women from different walks of life. Lastly, Rana is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Public Policy at the Harvard University.
Amazing achievements for a 22 year old and an inspirational figure for Muslim women worldwide!