Born and raised in Detroit, Leah was brought up in a strict Muslim household where freedom of expression wasn’t always a given. “Growing up, people chose who I was. They had such a say in who I was going to be,” Leah says. In her religious community, as well as in her marriage, Leah felt trapped by the roles that were thrust upon her. After a divorce, Leah had to figure out who she was beyond what others had made of her — besides being Muslim, besides being a wife.
“I had to figure out what Islam meant to me and how to present it outwardly as well as internally,” Leah says. “I can now say that I am very much so spiritual and very much so Muslim, even though I don’t always look the part or fit into the box of what a hijabi looks like.”