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Iraqi, Somali business owners start outfits and jewelry firms, celebrating Muslim trend in Maine

In a spare classroom at the grownup education middle in Biddeford, Israa Enan opened her handbag and gently pulled out a light pink hijab. Then she pulled out a purple a single, and a darkish pink one – 3 samples from her outfits startup, Muharah Selection, that she launched with a close friend in November.

Enan, who is originally from Iraq, claimed getting into the manner company was a important vocation modify. She researched health sciences in faculty, and previous year bought a career in a dental clinic.

“I was like oh my god of course eventually I am gonna use my certification to get the job done,” she remembered contemplating. “I am gonna test to make income, it’s a fantastic spot.”

But not lengthy just after she begun, she said her employers requested her to switch her hijab with a surgical hat and a lesser head covering underneath, supposedly to match her scrubs.

Enan said she agreed at 1st, seeking to in shape in.

“But then,” she explained, “I started out realizing, this is not who I am.”

So, just after quite a few months at the clinic, she place in her recognize.

“Just after what I went by means of, following observing my good friends getting their hijabs off, I want to do the reverse. I want to start out donning a hijab far more,” she reported.

Israa Enan, co-founder of Muharah Assortment, holds up one particular of the hijabs she’s featuring for sale. Enan says she picked the lightweight fabrics and smooth shades that she and her friends prefer.

And, she claimed, she required to assistance other Muslim women in Maine sense a related pride in their hijabs. A single problem, she claimed, is that the fashionable kinds that she and her buddies are seeking for just are not offered in Maine.

“Let us say we uncover a place in this article – they have restricted selections. Typically aged fashions,” she reported. “And, you know, it is a new technology. They want good stuff.”

Looking at an opening in the market place, she teamed up with her buddy Qamar Hussein, who has a track record in manner, to launch Muharah Assortment, and commenced importing hijabs from Turkey this previous November.

It didn’t acquire extended to uncover prospects like Tabarek Al Abboodi.

“I’ve in no way bought a hijab in human being right up until in fact Israa opened her Muhara Collection,” explained Al Abboodi.

Al Abboodi is from Iraq, and her household has lived in Maine for about ten decades. Al Abboodi said she and her pals who are also in their 20s are looking for a precise design and style of hijab – typically lightweight cloth and softer colors that are uncomplicated to match with different outfits.

Until eventually not too long ago, she’d carried out most of her hijab purchasing on the internet. But, she mentioned, the shades would not generally appear as advertised, and she was not impressed with the high quality.

“I washed them the moment and they’re gone,” she explained. “They’re torn aside.”

Now, she said Muharah Collection delivers the gentle hues and superior excellent, lightweight materials that she likes. And she can check out Enan and pick out her hijabs in man or woman – she mentioned that’s a large offer for her group of good friends.

“It is seriously exciting. And once more, we all supported her, and we all will even now guidance her simply because we have to have these,” Al Abboodi stated with a giggle.

And Muharah Assortment is not the only new community business enterprise hoping to appeal to a Muslim clientele.

Two women holding up a necklace and a ring, standing in front of a brick wall.

Iman Enan, remaining, and Muna Mahmoud maintain up a pair parts from their new collection. As co-founders of Foi Jewellery, Enan and Mahmoud say they hope to establish a perception of group among Muslim gals through jewellery.

On a current early morning at the general public library in Westbrook, Israa Enan’s more mature sister, Iman, and her enterprise associate Muna Mahmoud laid out gold bracelets, necklaces, and rings, lots of of them inscribed with Arabic phrases. It was the 1st selection from their new small business, Foi Jewelry. Mahmoud, who was born in Saudi Arabia but whose relatives is from Somalia, mentioned she has a particular relationship to the items.

“Rising up in Arabic tradition, when I see [that] these jewellery have some Arabic producing on them, it actually feels like I’m home,” Mahmoud explained.

Iman Enan, who is from Iraq, stated she sees the jewelry business enterprise as a delicate, but general public, way of building community. Considering the fact that launching the company earlier this month, she reported it truly is previously served her meet much more Arab females.

“A lot of ladies reached out to me, and I did not know they lived in Maine. I was so surprised,” she claimed. “So I really feel like this is the very first phase.”

Two women holding gold necklaces on their open palms.

Muna Mahmoud and Iman Enan hold up examples from Foi Jewelry’s very first selection. The round necklace on the correct is inscribed with a verse from the Quran.

In the meantime, her more youthful sister Israa Enan reported her new line of hijabs are offering briskly, and she’s already expanded her choices to include things like dresses and tailor made-made hoodie sweatshirts.

And even though it is even now early, she said she’s looking at some signs of success in her mission to support other women and ladies truly feel energized about sporting hijabs.

“I saw some girls, they were being like ‘Oh we’re sporting you are hijabs!’ I was like this is sweet! This is so wonderful,” Enan explained with a smile, “I just felt very pleased.”