Blogger and Community Activist
Hijri 1404-Present (AH); Common Era 1984-Present (CE)
Hebah Ahmed, blogger and activist, was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Egyptian-American parents and grew up in Tennessee and Texas. She holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. At MuslimMatters.org, a blog about political, social, and cultural issues relevant to Muslims, she writes on such topics as her experiences as an American Muslim woman, interfaith dialogue, motherhood, and Egypt. She is best known for her defense of the niqab. Speaking of the reasons behind her decision to veil, she says, “I want to be tested in that way. The niqab is a constant reminder to do the right thing. It’s God-consciousness in my face.”1 Understanding the challenges that come with the choice to veil, she embraces them as an opportunity to act as an ambassador for her understanding of Islam. In her interview with The New York Times she explains, “I look at those run-ins with people as an opportunity to explain who I am and maybe shed some light on Islam. If they knew me or more about my faith, I’m sure they would think differently.” 2 She tries to educate others about her faith not only one-on-one, but also through community presentations and appearances in the media. She has been interviewed by ABCNews and has twice been a guest on CNN’s program “In the Arena” to debate issues relevant to the Muslim community with award-winning columnist Mona Eltahawy. Hebah is married with two children and lives in New Mexico where, in addition to her activism, she leads Daughterz of Eve, a youth group for Muslim girls in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area.  “Behind the Veil,” The New York Times.  ibid.