Monday, October 4, 2010

Walking Manhattan with Faith!

I've had a very fun and productive weekend. It was fun because I got to hang out with my superhijabi-movie-star- friend, Iman Ibrahim-Salam.

And it was productive because she actually made me get out of my house and start doing dawah with her in Manhattan!

As some of you New Yorker's already know, Iman was here for the showing of her movie, On a wing and a prayer.

The first showing was at Judson Memorial Church, located close to Washington Square-NYU area.

There was a very nice crowd of 100-150 people. The room was packed with Muslims and Non-Muslims in the same room to take a stand against stereotyping.

First of all, if you haven't already seen the movie, I hope you all get to see it soon. It's such a funny, real life documentary about your average American Muslim family.

This was the first time I got to see the movie and I absolutely loved it. I congratulate Iman for having a camera crew follow her around on a daily basis (having to wear hijab full time at home too!).

It's not an easy task to allow strangers to come into your home and film you from morning till night. I applaud her for doing that.  She did this difficult task for one reason, to speak up as a Muslim and say, "Look. This is who I am.  I am your average American Muslim. Don't believe what the media tells you".

We met lots of wonderful people and made new friends at the event. Afterwards, we drove around Manhattan like crazy and I mean CRAZY! And squeezed in a quick lunch at Times Square, and practically flew over to the other side of town to make it to the next showing (it really felt like a Manhattan version of  on a wing and a prayer the way I was speeding and honking and almost running over pedestrians and anything that got in my way). Wait!  It gets better, afterwards, when I got home, I realized I didn't have my license with me that whole time!!! (I won't tell if you won't tell :-)

Anyway, going back to Iman since this post was about her... The second showing was at a church on the upper west side. This one was even more fun! The room was full of so much positive energy. Since it was a smaller crowd, it was a bit more intimate.

Iman was so amazing. Just the way she was on her trailer Faith Walks the Land. The crowd loved her. She is smart, beautiful and humorous. Everyone in the room felt like they could connect with her. I was watching her speak and I felt so empowered about how she handled the questions. You could see how sincere she was with her answers.

One of the ladies asked Iman "I understand you are an Average Muslim, but what about the Muslims living here in the area?"

I have no idea what came over me?!? I was quietly sitting in the back and all of a sudden I jumped out of my seat, and found myself answering her question. With both hands in the air (I'm thinking I did that to get attention, LOL)

I said "I AM an Average American Muslim. I live HERE in Manhattan! My husband works here, my kids go to school here. If you feel like you don't know any American Muslims in the area, I apologize. It's my fault. I haven't been out and about that much since moving to the city. But here I am, and if you want to know an American Muslim, I'm right in front of you. Don't believe what the media tells you!"

On the way home, in the car, Iman and I were laughing at ourselves. "I'm so glad you did that Elif" she said. It was so funny because I looked like Bozo- the-Clown jumping out of her chair, I was already a late-comer to the crowd, and here I was walking in going, "Look at me, can you see, I'm a Muslim living here, and I'm normal!"

Thanks to Iman, I got to meet lots of wonderful people, and I will take this opportunity to follow up on attending their Interfaith events.

As I watched Iman's movie, I couldn't hold back my tears listening to this poem she wrote. I had read it on her blog, but hearing it from her in the movie was even more beautiful.


Did you notice Iman's outfit? Look how it matches the background of the scrapbook paper! Very Fashionable!

The above poem was taken from Iman's own blog. You can follow her here

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia


  1. That's so wonderful! Alhamdululillah thanks for sharing :-)

  2. I absolutely adore your shirt dress, Elif!! Where did you purchase it from?

    ps: Keep up the great blogging, you're an inspiration to young girls everywhere :D

  3. Thank you so much for the sweet write up! It was such a pleasure hanging out with you. You are such an inspiration to me.

  4. You're welcome Salwa.

    Aria my long tunic top is a KAVAKCI COUTURE design. For detailed questions you're welcome to email me :

    Iman, you're welcome!

  5. Thank you Iman,
    Your small steps have helped me realize what big leaps I should be making. Your an inspiration to us all. You alone makes us one billion strong!!!

  6. she said, ur amazing. May Allah continue to help you, continue to increase your good deeds, and help you in spreading the beautiful message of our beautiful deen.

  7. your are an inspirantion to all of us muslims we love you and stand by you.

  8. Elif do you sell your clothes to the general public?

  9. I have my signature Comfijab (comfortable hijab) design available in different colors. Everything else can be made couture. If you have any more questions you can email me at