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In Honor of Women's History Month

By:  Bayaan Academy Students

Students in Gr. 4 - 7 at Bayaan Academy researched famous women in history and were then asked to interview women who had an impact on their lives.  Below is some of what they wrote...

Rabia Bano    

Rabia bano was born in Pakistan currently lives in Tampa. She respects her mom the most. She got a Bachelor's degree from college. She is proud to have a great blessing from Allah: her daughter and her sons who are always ready to help. She used to be a teacher; now she caters food. She helps her community by catering food. She advises young people to be  better Muslims and make non-Muslims proud of Muslims.

By:  Huma, Daughter, Gr. 4/5

Mariam Fatima

Mariam Fatima was born on January 11, 1998 in San Jose, California. The 18-year-old girl has moved twice, from San Jose, California to Dallas, Texas, and from Dallas to Tampa, Florida. Currently residing in Tampa, Ms. Fatima attends the University of South Florida, where she is majoring in Biomedical Sciences and Public Health. She is most proud of two things: starting and being president of the ISONET Youth Group and seeing it develop to what it has today.

Mariam looks up to her mom, who she respects because she said, “I can be hard to deal with at times.” Her favorite school memory is multicultural day in senior year when her class did Japan. “It was pretty awesome,” she said. Mariam is president of The Muslim Connection, an Islamic organization on campus that conducts major events for the Muslim community of Tampa. Her advice to the young generation of Muslims, such as herself, is, “Keep Allah in everything you do, and make as much du’aa as you can, because we couldn’t have gotten as far as we could in life without Allah.”

By: Ammaar Mohammed, Brother, Gr. 7

Eman Al-Mafarjah

Eman Al-Mafarjah is from Amman, Jordan and currently lives in Tampa, FL with 3 children. Her favorite childhood memory was playing. She became a hairstylist for ladies. The lady that she respects the most is her mother. Her favorite school memory is graduating.  Two things she is proud of are practicing her religion and the way she raised her children. She advises children to work hard and to follow their dreams!

By:  Rayan Birjas, Son, Gr. 5Asmaa Beso

Asmaa beso was born in on April 21, 1978 in Damascus, Syria.

She helps poor people in her community by giving them essentials like food, water and clothes. She also gives money to orphans in Syria. She currently lives in Tampa and spends her free time exercising and going to the gym.  Shelooks up to her mom and her teacher.

Asmaa Beso’s favorite school memory is when she went with her friends on a field trip.

She is proud of graduating fromlaw college and raising her kids. And to ramp it up, the advice she gives to young people is “Do not waste time, and you will accomplish your goals!”

By:  Ahmad Dibo, Son, Gr. 5


RaJade M. Berry-James - Born in Neptune, New Jersey in 1965.

1.       What is your career, and why did you decide upon it?

I am a tenured faculty member in the field of Public Administration.  My current rank is associate professor, and I am a research fellow in the Center of Genetic Engineering and Society.  As a research fellow, I am interested in cultural attitudes toward genetic foods.

I always knew that I wanted to teach for a living.  The professoriate is a rewarding profession since you get to mentor students and learn new things. 

2. What would you think it would be like if women didn’t have the rights they have today?

I can’t imagine a world where women’s rights were not a part of the landscape for equal rights.  Every man has a mother. Every man should want for his mother a world where her rights are as important as his rights.  In my work, I advocate for equal rights for all.

3. What is your favorite school memory?

My favorite school memory was joining a sorority as a freshman in college.  My sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, is a service-oriented sorority.  We were engaged in community service, sisterhood and helping to uplift the lives of others.  Being in my sorority helped me to finish school and maintain professional ties with other women who care about young girls and the communities that they live in.

4.    What are two things that you have done that make you feel proud?

I am the first person in my family to complete college and the first black PhD in Public Administration from Rutgers, the State University (Newark).  After I graduated from Rutgers, some of my nephews and cousins talked about becoming doctors and lawyers.  I think my academic success had a positive impact on their ability to dream beyond their life’s circumstances.

5.    Which women do you respect and look up to?

My grandmother, Mary L. Berry, worked for the State of New Jersey as a psychiatric nurse for more than 40 years.  Her public service career had a huge impact on my own career.  I learned about public service values through her sacrifice for work that improved the lives of others.  Among all, I compare them to her.

6. What advice would you give to young people today?

Find a mantra that you can adopt to guide all that you do.  My personal mantra is, “S/he who learns, teaches.”  I know that everything that I learn helps me to become a better teacher to my students, my friends and my family.  Use your mantra to help achieve your dreams.

7. What is your role in your community, and does it help your community?

At work, I engage in community service to help the most vulnerable in the community.  For the past 5 years, I have worked with the homeless of Raleigh.  I serve on the Board of the Raleigh-Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness.  As a teacher, I use service learning opportunities in the classroom so that my students can work on board initiatives.  As a mother, I have my daughters serve the homeless community.  Community service is central to my life and important to me.

Muhammad Husayn Totten, Cousin, Gr. 7