Flashback Friday to Women’s Day 2017 when UNFPA, the UN Population Fund, invited 40 female photographers to share an image that celebrates women.
Featured here is a photograph taken by Shaista Deen:
“Last year I worked on a collaborative exhibit and I decided to choose one of the images I produced back then for this project. To say this was a milestone of an achievement for me in my life thus far and overall something that is representative of strength, culture and religion would truly be an understatement. From a young age my mother always taught me the importance of being an independent and educated woman that stood for something meaningful. She has always reminded me to uphold my culture and to carry my hijab as I would a crown. I have strived for nothing but that ever since, although like everyone else I face imperfections and falter every now and then. Being a woman has never been an easy task and I can assure you, being a Muslim woman is even more difficult in the world today. Prejudice, misconceptions and the oppression we face breaks my heart in a way I will never be able to explain in words. Regardless to say that amongst all the hate and the negativity, I have discovered that despite religious and cultural backgrounds the thing that strengthens us is being women. We see each other’s struggles. We see each other’s pain. We see each other’s successes. We see each other’s races and we see beauty. We see each other. We accept each other. We support each other. We fight for each other. We are strength and we are pain and we are happiness and we are love and we are purity and we are all things wonderful. We are women.”
My occupation was not an archangel, rather a principality, and my name was not Joliel. That was one of my siblings! (Favriel, Zarlelle, and Joliel) I have no idea what my name was… My wings were black that faded into a dark red at the primaries (the outermost, longest wing feathers). My head was covered in a hijab-like veil, and a silver crown. My scepter was less of a scepter and more like a sword. All of my clothes were loose, so I am unsure of what I presented like in terms of gender.