A poet from Flint, Michigan, who posted her music rap video on Facebook this week about wrapping and wearing a hijab has seen her song go viral. The song, “Hijabi,” written and performed by 28-year-old Syrian-American Mona Haydar is catchy and fun, an ethos the video, produced and directed by Tunde Olaniran, underscores. As of Thursday, the video, which was released to coincide with Muslim Women’s Day, has amassed more than half a million views on Facebook.
With lyrics like this, that explore what it’s like to live in America wearing a headscarf, it’s not hard to see why the song and video have largely been received positively:
I been stackin my karma
Nefertiti, no drama
Make a feminist planet
Women haters get banished
Covered up or not don’t ever take us for granted
“We wanted it to lift people’s spirits and bring people together in levity and sweetness,” Haydar told BuzzFeed. Nevertheless, among the praise heaped on her by social media users, there have been some people that have been critical and said the video is cringeworthy.
“Of course I have conservative Muslims, Islamophobes, internet trolls, and your general run-of-the-mill haters coming at me. They’re coming at me from all sides,” Haydar said, “but I’m doing my best to stay positive and focused on my goal which is to speak truth and spread love.”
She added, “In light of the current American government’s agenda to demonize and malign the bodies of women, Muslims, and others, like trans people, I’m intentionally putting out this message now to help shift the narrative back to one that is positive and full of love,” she said. Watch the full video below
Incidentally, this is not Haydar’s first run-in with viral fame. Just about a year ago, she and her husband gained widespread attention with a unique way to foster conversation.
Read the full story at BuzzFeed.