I had the privilege of taking photos of Nazia Mirza and her awesome family a couple months ago. I, so luckily, came across Nazia when I was volunteering photography for Muslim families following Tr*mp's initial attempts at a Muslim travel ban. To me, photographing awesome, families that were targeted by his policies was a way of humanizing people that Tr*mp, and so many others, wanted to paint as dangerous and not sharing in what they believe are Judeo-Christian values.
Not only was Nazia’s family extremely warm, fun, and kind, but I later learned that Nazia is doing/has done incredible work to bring awareness to and combat female genital mutilation (FGM) in her former sect of Islam. She was featured in a New York Times article about the subject, describing her experiences as,"To me it's very much like a rape survivor. If you don't say anything, then how are you going to expose it and bring awareness." She continued, "It violates you as a human being and it shouldn't be done, end of story."
In the same way that the #MeToo social media movement has spread, speaking-out about the dangers, stigmas, and the loss of security that she felt as a victim in her sect is critical to helping others empathize, denounce, and move forward with their lives.
It's clear that Nazia has an enormous amount of strength and courage and I was so fortunate to photograph her!
Keep up the amazing work, Nazia!!!