Founder and editor, emel magazine
Sarah Joseph is the founder and editor of emel, a Muslim lifestyle magazine in the United Kingdom. She founded the publication in 2003 with a seed capital of only £20,000 (about $32,000). By 2005, emel was already breaking even and reaching 20,000 readers in 30 countries. The idea behind the magazine was not only to provide the British Muslim community with high-quality content relating to food, fashion, politics, travel, and other lifestyle issues but, as Sarah puts it, to offer “a window into Muslim communities, away from the clichés.”1 The magazine has successfully targeted non-Muslims as well as Muslim audiences and has been credited with promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding. For her role in interfaith work, Sarah was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire, an honor bestowed by the Queen Elizabeth II in her 2004 Birthday Honour’s list. She also appears on the United Kingdom’s Power 100 list of the country’s most powerful Muslims as well as on the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre’s list of the world’s 500 most powerful Muslims. Sarah was born and raised in the UK. She grew up Roman Catholic but converted to Islam in her late teens. She began exploring Islam after experiencing frustration that her brother became a Muslim in order to marry and found her frustration transformed into fascination. Ultimately, she found in the Quran answers to many of the deep questions she had and embraced the religion. She holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from King’s College London and completed graduates studies there, focusing on Britons embracing Islam. In 1999 she was the first female winner of the King Faisal Foundation Scholarship, which took her to Saudi Arabia to conduct postdoctoral research. Sarah was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2004 for services to "interfaith dialogue and the promotion of women's rights". In 2010 she was listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims by Georgetown University's The Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talaal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan; and in 2006 as one of the UK’s 100 most powerful Muslims in the Muslim Power 100 by Carter Anderson. She is married to human rights barrister, Mahmud al-Rashid, with whom she has three children. They live in London. "Putting a good glossy on the Muslim lifestyle,” The Times.