All eyes on Noor: Local lady wants to be initial hijabi anchor on American TV …

June 18, 2015 - accent chair

Noor Tagouri films a block for 72 HRS, a Canadian transport guide.  (Bekka Gunther/Courtesy of Noor Tagouri)

Noor Tagouri’s thick black curls turn several inches past her shoulders. It’s easy to suppose a news executive revelation a contributor to cut her hair into a some-more broadcast-friendly bob. But Tagouri doesn’t have to worry about such a conversation. Her enviable tresses will always be covered.

That’s since Tagouri is hijabi. As in, she artfully covers a headband over her conduct when she’s going to be around group she’s not associated to. So, essentially, whenever she leaves a house.

A hijab, that means “cover” in Arabic, is a headscarf ragged by some Muslim women (as good as some group and non-Muslims). Most mostly covering a hair and neck, it’s customarily interconnected with an altogether conform character geared toward tact — loose-fitting clothing, prolonged sleeves, no shorts.

“It empowers me,” Tagouri says. “It helps me do what we wish to do.”

What she wants to do is to be a initial hijabi anchor on U.S. blurb television. And she’s in a precipitate to get there. After graduating early from high school, she went on to acquire her bachelor’s grade in promote broadcasting from a University of Maryland. At 21, she now works part-time for CBS Radio and Prince George’s Community Television.

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She’s also a smartphone celebrity. In Dec 2012, she assimilated a ranks of amicable media stars after posting a print of herself sitting during a anchor table during ABC 7 news in Washington, labeling it “my dream.” The post went viral, and Tagouri fast amassed thousands of followers. Now she boasts some-more than 96,000 likes on Facebook, scarcely 62,000 supporters on Instagram and 17,000 on Twitter.

Unlike her radio purpose models, who embody a likes of Oprah Winfrey and Lisa Ling, Tagouri has to navigate a image-centric media landscape wearing an evident pen of her faith – a block of cloth that signifies “I am Muslim.”

That can be a high jump to face in a nation where a lot of disagreement still surrounds Islam.

Consider a box of Samantha Elauf, who didn’t get hired by Abercrombie Fitch after she wore a headscarf to a pursuit speak in 2008. Earlier this month, a Supreme Court ruled that a tradesman had disregarded anti-discrimination laws when it deserted Elauf since her hijab conflicted with a dress code. “I was agreeably surprised,” Tagouri says of a ruling.

[Supreme Court allows Muslim woman’s headscarf suit]

She sees a preference as a feat not only for Elauf or other Muslims though for all women. “It was a outrageous step forward” in substantiating a governmental order that people shouldn’t be penalized for sauce differently, she says. “I consider people are starting to get past that. We’re sleepy of being carbon-copy cookie cutters of what multitude expects us to be.”

What unequivocally matters is not what we wear though either we can do a pursuit well, says Abed Ayoub, authorised and process executive during a American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. It’s insulting, he says, “to consider that an particular who wears a hijab or turban isn’t means of being unbiased” or satisfactory in a media pursuit or any other job. “They are some-more than means of holding adult any occupation.”

Despite other hijabi women warning her that “it’ll always be a headband or a job,” Tagouri is assured that she won’t have to censor her beliefs to find employment. Besides, she says, “My temperament is approach some-more critical to me than a job.”

She really doesn’t miss self-confidence. Perched on a wicker chair, one leg tucked underneath her, in a sunroom of her Libyan American family’s magnificent home in Bowie, Md., Tagouri says she has no seductiveness in being anyone other than herself. She still lives during home with her father, a pathologist during St. Mary’s Hospital in southern Maryland, her mom and 4 younger siblings and likes to hang out with her 10-year-old sister, Lina. She has no seductiveness in celebration though she’s always adult for a uncover by Florence + a Machine, one of her favorite bands.

Like many a millennial, she talks in vehement bursts, trace her debate with “likes” and removing sidetracked on giggle-filled tangents about a several people she’s met on a endless trips spawned by her Internet celebrity. On camera, she says, she ditches a “reporter voice” and speaks as if she’s carrying a review with a viewers. “I’m like, ‘This is what’s going on, here’s what’s happening,’” she explains of her style.

She’s not endangered about her “otherness” in an courtesy prolonged famous for a concentration on standardised soundness — exquisite blowout, true teeth, no accent. Millennials are inspired for new faces that they can see themselves in, she says, observant that so often, all we see are success stories from people who are 20 years into their careers. “It’s a totally opposite viewpoint that I’m means to move when I’m still on a journey,” she says. “These are my struggles, this is what I’m going through, this is what worked for me, this is what hasn’t worked for me.”

Capitalizing on her initial viral success, Tagouri and her family came adult with a hashtag debate #LetNoorShine. Noor means “light” in Arabic, and Tagouri wanted to use her name to enthuse others to share their possess passions and to give people a height to applaud their differences, she says.

Today, Tagouri supplements her stating gigs with transport and vocalization engagements. Recently, she spoke during a Foggy Bottom TedX on a thesis of “Being Rebellious” before jetting off to Paris to speak about hijab and women’s rights on France’s nightly news speak show, Le Grand Journal.

She acknowledges that her hybrid career indication — partial reporter, partial motivational orator — is not a norm. But she’s not so certain that she wants to follow a normal path. “Journalism is changing,” she says. “You can’t mislay yourself so many from a story.”

She shrugs off a thought that some might consider that her sacrament will impact her objectivity, that mightiest of journalistic ethics. “Me wearing a headband on my conduct won’t make me news a story any differently,” she insists.

Plus, that headband instills her with certainty that people are profitable courtesy to what she’s observant rather than to her looks or her body.

Still, this being a digital age, she receives her satisfactory share of horrible comments. “I get hatred each day” from Muslims and non-Muslims alike, she says, about all from how she prays to a narrowing of her jeans. But she doesn’t obsess.“That says a lot some-more about we than it says about me,” she says with a shrug. “Whatever.”

If anything, Tagouri sees her hijab and her tact as personification in her favor. She remembers a lady coming her during a celebration final year. “She’s like, ‘You know, you’re a many lonesome chairman here, nonetheless everyone’s eyes are on you,’ ” she recalls with a laugh.

And that’s only a approach she wants to keep it.

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