Everything covered but her eyes, what a cruel, male-dominated culture.

When you see a woman wearing a hijab, what is your first impression of her? Do you have an ethnocentric view that forces you to believe that because of her religion, she has no free will? Is her head scarf an indicator that she is involved in terrorist activities? Or do you assume that she is suffering from the inequalities of a male dominated religion?

Since 9/11, there have been many misconceptions about Muslims and Islam. The media has failed at accurately portraying the Islamic religion and way of life. Islam is presented as a barbaric, vile, and oppressive religion. Furthermore, due to crude generalizations, Muslim women who wear hijabs are stigmatized as subdued and in need of liberation. The hijab is viewed as a restriction to a Muslim woman’s freedom to express her views and opinions, freedom to education, and freedom to drive. For a vast majority of Muslim women, this is the furthest thing from the truth. The hijab does not symbolize oppression or suppression. To contrary beliefs, the hijab is not worn only to keep the illicit desires of men in check. The hijab is not simply a scarf or a head covering. Wearing the hijab is a symbol of modesty and dedication. It is an outer manifestation of an inner commitment.

I am privileged to have very close friends who are Muslim and are willingly to educate me about the religion. Although I have gained some knowledge regarding this subject matter, I do not have personal experience. Instead of writing a post solely based on my opinions, I wanted to provide my friends with a medium to dispel the different misconceptions and generalizations regarding the hijab. I asked them a few questions and here is what they had to say…

Rise Africa: What is the meaning behind the hijab?

Zeitun Tifow: I’ll speak personally. There are two aspects to my hijab, the physical aspect and the character aspect. The physical aspect is the hijab itself. My hijab is my identification in a sense. When people see my hijab they identify me as a Muslim woman. Aside from the physical aspect, my hijab is more than just a scarf I put on every day. My hijab is who I am as an individual, which is where the character aspect comes in. For me, my hijab represents modesty. As women, our appearance is what gets the attention and not our intelligence or who we are as human beings. The focus is all about our assets and what we carry physically. People may try to deny this, but it is true. I wear my hijab to protect myself from that. I want people to look beyond my physical appearance and focus on who I am as an individual. I want people to see Zeitun and not her assets.

Ahmad Abdullah: To my understanding, the hijab is a symbol, manifestation, and display of humility, self-respect, and service to the most high.

Rise Africa: What is the biggest misconception about women who wear the Hijab?

Zeitun: I would say the oppression aspect. It seems as though we are judged by the way we dress. That way of thinking is heavily influenced by the media. What’s often heard in the media is that women who wear the hijab have no freedom in their choices. Muslim women are viewed as being in an oppressive religion. When we see Islam, we think of countries such as Saudi Arabia where women are forced to be covered head-to-toe. This becomes the standard understanding of all Muslim women. We must separate culture from religion. What you see in Saudi Arabia cannot be used to generalize a population of over 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. The fact that these laws are limited to Saudi Arabia speaks volume that it is more culture than religion. My biggest disappointment is that the media promotes these different stereotypes and misconceptions and people feed into it.

read entire interview

The Best of Rise Africa: From September 15th – September 21st we will be celebrating the most popular and appreciated posts that Rise Africa produced.

We’re still working tirelessly on our new platform,, and developing the many resources and benefits that will be made available to our community through our new membership system, but we dedicate this week to appreciating the great content and conversations we enjoyed through Rise Africa and our collective community.

We welcome you to become a member and join this international network to connect with other young people using their skills, interests, and voices to diversify the African narrative.



Your new community is just around the corner.

We welcome you to join this international network to connect with other young people using their skills, interests, and voices to diversify the African narrative. Designed for members to share stories, ideas, and resources, Ezibota connects people with different experiences but similar realities.

We don’t want just another place where people poke one another, or communicate in fragmented spurts. We wanted to create a space specifically dedicated to a community of members that are as diverse as they are similar, connected as they are disjointed, and self-aware as they are socially-conscious. Ezibota is the place to meet other Africans and discuss the systems of turmoil on the continent as well as the daily individual movements of progress.

This is a hub for aspiring, young Africans seeking a support system. Join us in our mission to create and maintain an organic sense of home while promoting African commerce and culture. Together, we can realize our vision of a connected and empowered global African community.

Our team is currently working behind the scenes to provide a host of additional membership plans, services, and products for our community members; we will officially launch our platform on October 2nd, 2014. Currently, we offer lifetime membership to show our appreciation to those of you have been with us from the beginning, joined us as we expanded, or recently gained interest in our online community development efforts. Lifetime membership allows you to become a member of our community for a one time $5 fee and is only available for a limited time. Take advantage of it while you can!

Loyal, honest, and timeless, we’re not just a website but an organization dedicated to the international African community. Here, your voices are not only heard, they are demanded; your stories are not only told, they are cherished; community is not only welcomed, it is expected. Africans of our generation, more than ever before, know what it feels like to be on the outside. Here, all of us come together and give birth to a space where we are encouraged to connect with one another and empowered to share our experiences.

Join our community, become a lifetime member. 

every time my neighbor sees me she asks to hold a dollar. I think she got my schedule memorized

youll never catch me eating food from a chinese joint that also sells candy, weave and lotto tickets

africans and caribbean islanders in the Philadelphia area, contact me if you’re interested in joining a network of our peers this thursday at a sengelaese restaurant in west philadelphia to discuss volunteering with and supporting organizations in African and Caribbean communities locally and abroad. itll be an opportunity to connect and share ideas over great cuisine. message me for details.


Hello Rise Africa community! We apologize for our brief period of absence and are excited about getting back in touch with all of you. For the past couple of weeks we have been perfecting a new and improved platform that we began conceptualizing over 5 months ago. This new platform will serve as a tangible manifestation of all that Rise Africa embodied. Rise Africa began as an emotional appeal from African youth around the world. We worked to rail against the common stereotypes of the African, and demanded that the world pay attention to our realities. Collectively, our voices built a space dedicated to honest discussion about the state of the African continent. Slowly our audience became hungry for more, and there emerged a genuine desire to connect; a desire to reach out across oceans and communicate with one another on a profound and authentic level. Grown from that hunger, our new platform, Ezibota, will change the way that young Africans interact with their identity, heritage, and one another. 
The word “Ezibota” is the marriage of two words. Ezinulo is the Igbo word for family. In the Igbo culture, family includes not only the nuclear family but also the vast extended family network. Libota is the Lingala word for family. This more intimate, blood related definition of family, is tied very closely to the idea of birth and creation, and also highlights the important role of women in the family. When the word ezinulo and libota are married together, they represent the marriage of not just two cultures, but symbolically all African cultures, therefore creating a new and compounded definition of family. Ezi, in Igbo means outside, and Bota, in Lingala, means birth. Literally, Ezibota means “Outside Birth.” As African identities continue to evolve, our new platform, Ezibota, gives birth to a community of those looking to further explore their identities as Africans and connect with other young Africans embarking on similar journeys. Ezibota captures the ongoing evolution of the African identity and the role that the diaspora as well as citizens of the continent play in marrying their individual and unique realities to one another in a collaborative effort to diversify the African narrative.
With our community in mind, our team has been diligently working behind the scenes to create a new platform that better suits the desires of our readers and community members. We have delicately created a new webspace, strategically formalized our membership system, extensively developed an elaborate business model, and will be enthusiastically offering new services and products to those who take advantage of the new membership plans that we will soon offer. 
Throughout the month of September we will be sharing more information about the changes that are soon to come. We urge you to stay tuned as we unveil all of the new opportunities that will be available with our new platform, products, and services. We hope you share in our excitement for all that’s in store.
Mission: To create and maintain an organic sense of home while promoting African commerce and culture
Vision: A connected and empowered global African community
Visit to send us  questions, comments, or any feedback you may have.

baking my first batch of jerk chicken. I’m nervous but can sense its boutta to shit on everybody life.

its always the person who brings the napkins and/or utensils to a potluck that be eatin up all the food

I really don’t have textual conversations with people I don’t know like that past 11:00 pm. I will stop my response mid sentence and hit you back in the mornting. ppl be jumpin to wild conclusions

I hate when professors complain about being underpaid but then wanna force their broke ass students to buy 5 expensive ass “required” textbooks. like girl, from the looks of your ensemble you know the effects of financial strain so why don’t you just stop bein cute and upload these chapters

intelligence tests measure what you get on intelligence tests. they may correlate with a multitude of other things but they do not define anyone’s worth or potential. I need people to understand this

"I never lose. I either win or I learn" yesssssss applied to life thousandfold. perspective is everything

Anonymous asked: is afropunk free, can i just roll up in the park with my goonies?

its been free in the past but it allegedly cost money this year. im not payin shit, im hoppin fences