By Rona Akbari
Daniya is my best friend and neighbor from back home. I have always been inspired by her ability to portray her squad in a way that is equal parts fierce and beautiful. She has a natural gift for photography and art. I felt like a behind-the-scenes look at her creative process would be entertaining (because these ladies are all hilarious) and informative (because there is not a lot of representation for hijabi women in western media).
I have been good friends with most of the girls in this squad for a while and can say they are some of the wittiest, sweetest and most beautiful women I have ever met. They are each other’s soulmates and by being confident, they unconsciously allow other people to feel confident too.
Squad love rolls deep. No group of friends embodies this more than the hijabi girl gang. There was never a dull moment filming these ladies. The day was a constant stream of quips and roasts, a sign of real-ass friendship. Daniya, the photographer, is a social media powerhouse with an eye for art. You may know her from a certain viral meme with the caption: “when you don’t have a date to prom bc you’re muslim af.”
An anonymous question on her Tumblr reads: “hi hello tips on how 2 take dope af squad pics like u??? thx”
Her answer: befriend ten girls when you are six years old, grow up with them and get so close you can boss them around to model for your pictures. start early and build your squad today
Another anon asks: “You and your squad are such an inspiration. Everything you guys do is so cool and your pictures are so beautiful but I do have one question…. have any of you ever faced islamophobia and if so, how do you guys deal with such racist remarks?
Daniya responds: “how do we deal with Islamophobia? lol tell them that the onlything we blow up is the internet.”
The amounts of slayage these women bring shatter stereotypes of what it means to be a hijabi. In Islam, it is common to call fellow Muslims “sisters” whether you know them or not. This group of friends embodies sisterhood in both faith and amity. An unbreakable alliance bonded by deen (faith), wit, fierceness and killer
Rona Akbari: Filmmaker. Writer @eggplantfsu. Afghan. Teen Internet Sensation™.