Amani al-Khatahtbeh

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Amani Al-Khatahtbeh
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh (81805) (cropped).jpg
At the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018
Born
Amani al-Khatahtbeh

(1992-05-06) May 6, 1992 (age 28)
New Jersey
NationalityAmerican
EducationRutgers University
OccupationAuthor, politician, activist
Websitehttp://amani2020.com/

Amani al-Khatahtbeh is an American author, activist and tech entrepreneur. She is the founder of MuslimGirl.com, a blog for Muslim women.[1] In 2016, she was included in Forbes 30 Under 30 in Media for her work with MuslimGirl.[2] She was named one of the 25 most influential Muslim Americans by CNN.[3] She unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary for U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 6th Congressional district.

Early years[edit]

Al-Khatahtbeh grew up in New Jersey to parents of Jordanian descent.[4][5] When she was 13 years old, her family decided to move to Jordan due to concerns of increased violence against the Muslim community in the United States.[6] After her mother fell ill, her family moved back to New Jersey to be closer to their relatives who still lived there. Back in New Jersey, she continued to feel closer to her Muslim identity and decided to wear the hijab as an act of resistance against Islamophobia.[7][8] Because she didn't have a community of young Muslim women, she decided to make her own and founded MuslimGirl.com in 2009 as a 17-year-old high school senior.[9] With friends from her mosque, al-Khatahtbeh published blogs on the site.

Following high school, she attended Rutgers University,[10] graduating in 2014 with a political science degree.[11] She then worked for a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. before moving to New York and briefly working for a major media organization.[12][13]

Career[edit]

MuslimGirl[edit]

In the beginning of 2015, MuslimGirl developed a volunteer staff and saw a large increase its readership.[10] The site logged 1.7 million hits in 2018.[14]

In 2016, she partnered with Teen Vogue for a web series that explored issues of concern to young Muslim women.[15][12]

On March 27, 2017, MuslimGirl.com created Muslim Women's Day.[16] Muslim Women's Day strives to celebrate all Muslim women and center their voices in mainstream media.[17]

Literary career[edit]

Al-Khatahtbeh's book, MuslimGirl: A Coming of Age, was released in October 2016.[12] She was a panelist at the 2017 Brisbane Writers Festival in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.[18][19]

Politics[edit]

On April 4, 2020, Al-Khatahtbeh announced her candidacy in the race to represent New Jersey's 6th congressional district, becoming the first Muslim woman in New Jersey to run for federal office. In the Democratic primary election, her opponents are the 16-term incumbent, Frank Pallone, and attorney Russ Cirincione.[20][21]

Al-Khatahtbeh's campaign platform focuses on progressive issues including Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, student debt cancellation, free public university tuition, criminal justice reform, and the federal minimum wage of $15.[22]

Controversies[edit]

Al-Khatahtbeh and MuslimGirl.com have faced allegations of staff mistreatment and content plagiarism by some sources.[23]

John-Paul Pagano, writing in Tablet Magazine, accused MuslimGirl.com of allowing anti-Semitic views to be posted, including, in particular, the hosting of an article that promotes conspiracy theories claiming Israeli government-sponsored organ harvesting.[24][25] Al-Khatahtbeh has also endorsed 9/11 conspiracy theories claiming that "9/11 was an inside-job."[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arkansas Democrat Gazette
  2. ^ Forbes
  3. ^ 25 Influential American Muslims
  4. ^ Sana Anoshe Malik (October 18, 2016). "'muslim girl' founder amani al-khatahtbeh on growing up in post-9/11 america". Vice. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  5. ^ Maloney, Alli (December 17, 2015). "Media's newest titan is making space for Muslim girls". New York Times. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  6. ^ Lauren Jauregui (August 21, 2018). "Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Is Breaking Down Barriers So Future Generations Of Muslim Women Don't Have To". Bustle. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  7. ^ Katy Scott (March 26, 2018). "Why Amani Al-Khatahtbeh created Muslim Women's Day". CNN. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  8. ^ Lauren Jauregui (August 21, 2018). "Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Is Breaking Down Barriers So Future Generations Of Muslim Women Don't Have To". Bustle. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  9. ^ Harvard, Sarah (August 19, 2015). "How This 23-year-old is Busting Negative Myths About Muslim Women and Dominating the Internet". Teen Vogue.
  10. ^ a b Lamont, Tom (February 12, 2016). "Amani al-Khatahtbeh: 'It's transformative to have Muslim women in the tech world'". The Guardian.
  11. ^ "Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Rutgers alumna, announces Congressional campaign". The Daily Targum. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  12. ^ a b c Sirtori-Cortina, Daniela (October 17, 2016). "Meet The Rising Media Star Shattering Stereotypes About Muslim Women". Forbes.
  13. ^ Forbes Staff (October 19, 2016). "Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Is Shattering Muslim Stereotypes". Forbes. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  14. ^ VAW Net Staff (March 26, 2018). "Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Is Shattering Muslim Stereotypes". VAWnet.
  15. ^ Al-Khatahtbeh, Amani (May 9, 2016). "Watch Muslim Girls Get REAL About Love, Faith, and Donald Trump". Teen Vogue.
  16. ^ Shammara Lawrence (March 27, 2018). "What MuslimGirl's Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Wants to See From the Beauty Industry in 2019". Allure Magazine. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  17. ^ Katy Scott (March 26, 2018). "Why Amani Al-Khatahtbeh created Muslim Women's Day". CNN. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  18. ^ "What Muslim Means to Me". Brisbane Writers Festival. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  19. ^ "MuslimGirl's Amani Al-Khatahtbeh: 'We decided to make the conversation about us'". Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  20. ^ https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/amani-al-khatahtbeh-announces-her-162500106.html
  21. ^ Weaver, Hilary (April 4, 2020). "Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Is the First Muslim Woman to Run for Federal Office in New Jersey". ELLE. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  22. ^ "MuslimGirl founder Amani Al-Khatahtbeh announces congressional run in New Jersey".
  23. ^ Mehar (May 17, 2019). "MuslimGirl.com: Exploitation, Abuse, & Hypocrisy". Spill the Chai.
  24. ^ "Revlon Award Winner Has History of Anti-Semitism".
  25. ^ "Israel's Organ Harvesting and the UK's BDS Movement".
  26. ^ {{cite news|url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH-sES4w26M%7Ctitle=THIS IS A VERBAL VENDETTA - Spoken Word by Amani Alkhat|url-status=bot: unknown|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20131116112431/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH-sES4w26M%7Carchivedate=2013-11-16}

External links[edit]