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Interview with Noor Tagouri: Correcting the Perception of Muslim Women in America

Noor Tagouri Interview

Throughout my multifaceted journey, which has led me to where I am today, I have met some very influential, interesting and inspiring people. From public figures, such as American political scientist, activist, professor and author Norman Finkelstein to A-list Grammy awarded celebrities such as Taylor Swift. I have collected much insight through my encounters, conversations and interviews with these unique and talented people. However, over the years, I have become very particular about who I select to interview and publicize to my eager followers. I only interview carefully selected individuals, which have truly inspired me with their vision and captivated me by their astounding journey.

I first learned of Noor Tagouri by a friend that persistently insisted I watch an “inspirational” YouTube video, posted by Ms. Tagouri, last December. I watched the video and instantly became captivated by her charismatic and passionate presentation. Noor is a 19-year-old college junior studying broadcast journalism and international development conflict management at the University of Maryland. She aspires to be a news anchor or talk show host. Noor’s barrier-breaking and infectious message drew my interest stronger to learn more about her aspirations and progress thus far in becoming the first Muslim hijabi anchorwoman or talk show host in America.

I had the pleasure to interview Ms. Tagouri via Skype, given that our geographic locations place us at polar opposite ends of the United States. I was pleasantly surprised by Noor’s professionalism and confidence in her responses. Her mature outlook on family, friends and ethics, which many middle-age adults still lack, further impressed me. I learned that there is much more to her story than what has been recently circulating in social media and published in articles. To say that Noor wants to be the first Muslim hijabi news anchor in America is merely scratching the surface.

Noor Tagouri first became interested in talk shows during her early elementary years in which she would rush home from school, excited to watch another airing of the Oprah Winfrey show with her mother, while she prepared dinner. Noor described how Oprah intrigued her, due to her style of asking questions to provoke emotional responses and involvement from her audience.

“I was intrigued by how she would ask discovery questions to get her guests increasingly more involved, while engaging the audience, by allowing them to participate in the discussions. I was always so impressed by how she would use specific questions to extract emotions from her audience.”

Noor’s interest grew throughout the years. At the age of 16-years-old, she had the opportunity to meet Ted Koppel at the red ribbon cutting event for the opening of a new wing at a local hospital. Regardless of the massive press outcome, Koppel took special interest in Noor’s impressive objective questions and he offered her invaluable advice. Clearly, Ms. Tagouri took the journalism legend’s advice to heart.

Much has been covered and publicized about Noor’s indomitable will in achieving her goal of becoming the first Muslim hijabi news anchor in the United States, but little has been said about the sequence of events that led to her defining statement. I found it interesting that Ms. Tagouri made the personal decision to wear the hijab, only four years ago. Therefore, it is apparent that her goal was the merging of two significant devotions. Her growing childhood interest in broadcast journalism, which led to her decision to pursue a career as a news anchor or talk show host, was met with her personal devotion to Islam and her decision to wear the hijab. Furthermore, the merging of these two devotions naturally progressed into her highly publicized, powerful statement, in becoming the first Muslim hijabi anchorwomen in America.

Ms. Tagouri’s dream is continuing to gain public support. Indeed this is partially due to her uplifting presentation, but I feel much is due to her boundary-breaking goal and her courage in pursuing it. A deeper question must be addressed prior to understanding the power and ambition behind Noor’s goal. Why has there never been a Muslim hijabi anchorwoman or talk show host in America and what has been preventing it? History has taught us that racial discrimination and oppression has fueled this pattern throughout American history. American congress and mass media corporations have strategically used discriminatory hate campaigns against a specified racial, ethnic or religious group to gain public support to invade and occupy sovereign nations for ulterior motives.

The creation and media proliferated Islamophobia trend started long before 9-11, early into the 1900’s. Muslims have continuously been slandered in American movies and media. Muslim men in the past have been and continue to be portrayed as uncivilized, violent in nature, misogynistic, oppressive towards women and overall an enemy to freedom and democracy. Muslim women have been and continue to be depicted as oppressed, submissive to male figures, lacking independence and freedom of choice. These stereotypes have not been corrected because they serve as a strategic divide between the Western and Eastern cultures, which is key in maintaining public support to wage false-flag operations leading to ulterior motive fueled wars. Thus, the time has come to change all of this for the better. A leader has emerged that may influence and finally correct the slanderous misrepresentation of Muslims, specifically, Muslim women, in the public eye.

The campaign #LetNoorShine is not only about helping Noor reach her goal, but also to inspire others to pursue their personal goals. Furthermore, it is apparent that Noor is inspiring and supporting others to obtain their goals. Therefore, Ms. Tagouri’s commitment has led to her action in making her vision public to the world and to exemplify that taking action brings you closer to your dream. Her perseverance and pro-activeness is precisely responsible for her growing public support. The public is inspired not only by ambitious goals, but by being actively engaged in reaching those goals. I believe, Harriet Tubman said it best, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world,” Noor provides true meaning to this message.

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Comments

  1. Great!

    Like

  2. David Rosenberg says:

    Once again Mr. Diab, sensational. Ill be keeping an eye out for her.

    Like

  3. whats your major study? how do you know so much about palestine? i only ask because, Ive honestly never seen anyone with such knowledge at your age!!

    Like

    • Thank you so much. My BS is in MCD Biology and I’m currently finishing dual masters degrees in public health and biology. I read and study the Palestinian conflict because it’s my passion. I plan on pursuing a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

      Like

  4. Mohammed says:

    So proud of you Noor wish all the best for you.

    Like

  5. Mnar Muhawesh is the first hijabi journalist and news anchor from Minnesota in United States history, in fact in North Americans history. I don’t understand why nobody is recognizing her for her achievements.

    Like

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