Hamdia Ahmed was born in Somalia in the midst of a civil war. She was raised in a refugee camp.
She’s now an aspiring model – and the first woman to compete in the Miss Maine pageant while wearing a hijab – and a burkini for the swimsuit section.
Following in the footsteps of Halima Aden – the Muslim woman who made history by competing in Miss Minnesota wearing a hijab, then went on to star in a Yeezy fashion presentation and Rihanna’s campaign for Fenty Beauty – Hamdia walked the runway wearing a gold long-sleeve gown with a light pink hijab.
For the swimsuit portion of the competition, she wore a pink and black burkini.
Sadly, Hamdia didn’t win, but she’s still ecstatic about taking part and being the first Muslim woman to compete in the Miss Maine pageant – and she’s hopeful for the future.
‘I competed in Miss Maine as the first Muslim girl with a Hijab,’ wrote Hamdia on Twitter. ‘I slayed my hijab.’
On Instagram, Hamdia explained that she’s dedicated to increasing the diversity of those shown in mainstream media.
‘I was born in the middle of a civil war, and raised in a refugee camp,’ Hamdia wrote.
‘I want to inspire girls to feel confident, beautiful and to chase their dreams no matter where you’re from.
‘I have always wanted to become a model since I was a little girl, and I hope to get signed soon.
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‘Representation is so important.’
Here’s hoping the industry will take notice, listen to what people are asking for, and keep showing more women wearing the hijab.
Oh, and someone get Hamdia a modelling contract, stat. We reckon she’d be great in the next Fenty ad.
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