The Muslim Project: Meet Meriam Salem

“My name is Meriam Salem and I am a Muslim. I guess I’m also a photographer? Don't really remember when that happened. I'm studying International Relations with a focus on development and identity, race, gender, and culture. I'm also minoring in Communications with a focus in Film and Media.

Being Muslim in the West you learn quickly that certain politicians don't care about you. They don't care about the implications of their phobic language or how it leads to animosity towards you, your family, and friends throughout your life.

However, before I wore hijab- I also experienced animosity for being Black- whether I was Ethiopian and Arab didn't matter- at the end of the day immigrant identities don't protect dark skin from age old strifes.  Now that I wear hijab I face anti-blackness and islamophobia.

When people ask me who I am and where I'm from they expect an easy answer. But I'm starting to accept there isn't an easy answer because my identities cannot be divided up on a pie chart.

My one identity has multiple factors and intersections for which I won't give a simple answer. I've experienced phobia and discrimination for most of my identities and because of that my positions on politics and social issues may seem more liberal than most would expect. However, it's because I've hated growing up in an environment that is hostile to who I am I'd never want to project that on anyone else or stand by as someone else suffers.”

See more of Meriam Salem's amazing photography


She aspires to capture and share the stories of those who come across her camera through an International NGO - ensuring that voices otherwise unheard would have a platform to make a difference.  Until then she'll be capturing the people around her that make a difference in her world.