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Meet ASIYA Athlete: Anissa M.

Anissa has been a competitive figure skater since age 7.  Now 16 years old, she is still in love with the sport.  "Performing my programs for my skate tests and competitions makes me feel confident, graceful, and beautiful. It’s an art form to me, and I love expressing myself through my hard work and dedication!" Like many hijabi athletes, she has worked hard to overcome the barriers that she has faced in her sport. "Being a hijabi in the figure skating community has never held ME back, but it has held back others from really including me as a fellow competitor, and I have been docked unfairly before when competing in headscarf. I have learned, however, that it is not the...

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Meet ASIYA Athlete: Dania A.

Dania has become accustomed to being "that girl."     When running cross country for her college team, she would hear comments after races about "that girl". "I was "that girl" that was covered but yet ran fast. And the reality is, I want to be "that girl" that young hijabis look up to in sports." Dania grew up playing sports, such as soccer and basketball, but running has become her passion focus in recent years.  She ran cross country for her college team this past year.  In the small, white dominant college town, Dania was the first and only hijabi on the college athletic teams. "I ran and represented my school at cross country tournaments not only because I love...

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Meet ASIYA Athlete: Zaakyaa Y.

Zaakyaa is a multi-sport athlete, and at the age of 15, has received more honors than many athletes do in a lifetime. She has been studying martial arts since 3 years old, and became a black belt by age 11.  She was a National Champion in Martial Arts in 2013 and 2015. At 11, she started track and basketball, quickly becoming a top competitor in both.  Last year, she was selected for the 2017 NYC Middle School Basketball All-Star Game and named a Elite Middle School All-American. In track, she finished 1st in the NYC Middle School Track and Field Championship in the 400 meters. And during her first year of high school Cross Country competition, she placed in the Top 10 in her league....

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Meet ASIYA Athlete: Ameenah B.

Ameenah has been playing softball since she was 10 years old.  Now 16, she is competing on travelling teams and for her school--with hopes and dreams to go and play college ball. "I love the game. The atmosphere on the field and the adrenaline just gives me a rush. Like most sports, it’s one that can help me in life -- learning how to be a leader, and learning how to work with others to get to a goal is helpful as well as fun." As a Muslim athlete, she has become accustomed to looking different than her teams. "I feel as though I'm being looked at through a magnifying glass.  Where I live and where I play, there aren’t...

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Meet ASIYA Athlete: Taj L.

Taj started running in 2012, and hasn't stopped pushing herself since then! Now an avid weightlifter, she inspires everyone around her to work harder.  In fact, she co-founded a running group in her hometown in 2013 called "Muslimahs on the Run," with the mission of unifying Muslim women through the sport of running.  Continuing to challenge herself, she learned how to swim and bike over this past winter, she is currently training for her first triathlon!     When asked about how she feels about being a Muslim athlete, she shared, "My feelings on being a Muslim and athlete can be summed up into one word "empowered" . I am grateful to represent my religion, and maintain my modesty while doing whatever...

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