This is the woman behind that iconic Women’s March image

In the wake of the historic Women’s March on Washington this past January, an image of a woman who appeared on the protest movement’s official poster became almost as iconic as the movement itself. There’s a real person behind the image, and the BBC is telling her story.

“To me, the picture represents empowerment,” Munira Ahmed told the BBC, speaking of the image which features her wearing a hijab decorated with the American flag’s stars and stripes.

“It represents inclusion, it represents America.”

Ahmed revealed that the original photo was actually shot back in 2007, and was meant to be a refutation to the anti-Muslim sentiment that still permeated after 9/11.

“As someone who is American and someone who is Muslim, that concept definitely spoke to me,” she said. “The most visually compelling image of a Muslim woman is a woman wearing a hijab. Whether I choose to wear a hijab or not, at that point it’s not really relevant … it’s still something I feel a connection to.”

In the run up to the Woman’s March, Ahmed learned that an artist wanted to use her photo to represent the movement, but she had no idea the impact it would have.

“I was down in D.C. and I went to a rally — every shade and every gender using this as their protest image, they could have used so many other protest images and they decided to use this…”

“It’s not a partisan ideal to be pro-inclusion and pro-democracy,” Ahmed continued. “It’s just what this country represents.”

Watch the video below, via the BBC:

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Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.