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Sadia Ahmed: an inspiring Muslim artist at Niles North

Bella Levavi, News Editor

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Inspired by Muslim Women’s Day on March 27 and Coming Together Skokie: celebrating Muslim cultures highlighting stories of Muslim women, North Star News staff created a collection of stories telling the experiences of inspiring female Muslim students at Niles North.

If you have ever seen a Dance Marathon or Muslim Student Association shirt you probably have seen her work without knowing it. The creator is a five foot tall Hijabi girl with a constant smile on her face, Sadia Ahmed.

Ahmed is a senior at Niles North and an active member of the community. She is on the Executive Board of Dance Marathon, the Vice President of Muslim Student Association, and a founding member of Happy Club.

Since freshman year, Ahmed can be seen with her head in a sketchbook working on new designs. She is a self-taught artist that works with paint, sketching, and computer modeling. Ahmed has designed shirts for a variety of clubs at North and outside organizations. Most notably, she loves painting flowers, making collages and typography.

“My passion for graphic design has given me a place in high school, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Ahmed said.

In her future, she plans on majoring in computer science at either UIUC or DePaul. Ahmed has always taken school very seriously, signing up for a rigorous schedule every semester. She is a member of National Honor’s Society, demonstrating that her hard work has paid off.

“Sadia is literally the smartest person in my chemistry class. I am always so amazed at how quickly she gets every answer,” Emily McCarthy said.

Ahmed is also known for her exquisite and creative fashion. She loves to spice up old pairs of jeans with funky patches and embroidery. You can also always be sure that her Hijab will match a pop out color in her outfits. This girl always turns heads in the hallway.

Despite her successes in the Niles North community, Ahmed, like most minority students, has struggled to assimilate while keeping true to her home culture.

“Freshman year it was difficult finding my identity and I had a hard time embracing who I was. Now that I am a senior, I have found being a Muslim is just who I am. I wouldn’t be the same if I hadn’t worn my hijab.”

At Ahmed’s private Muslim middle school the hijab was part of the uniform. When Ahmed got to Niles North she wasn’t sure if she would continue wearing it. After long discussions and pondering over her identity, she decided to keep wearing it to keep her religion close to her in this secular world.

“The Hijab has grounded me through hard times,” Ahmad said.

When asked how it is to live in Skokie as a Muslim she said, “Skokie is a great place to be as a Muslim. There are so many people in this community I can connect with.  People at school always ask respectful questions because they genuinely care about learning about my religion.”

 

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Sadia Ahmed: an inspiring Muslim artist at Niles North