Who: Stephanie Khalil AlGhani (IG: @khalilhijabi, @covertimemagazine)
Occupation: Founder/Editor of Covertime Magazine (www.covertimemagazine.com)
Location: Connecticut, USA
Stephanie Khalil AlGhani is an American Muslim, and she wants to put a face to a name. I am really happy about her sentiments, as I feel that Muslims have gotten a really bad rap in the media in recent years. I prefer to judge each person on an individual basis, but if I were to generalize all the Muslims I know personally, for the sake of making a point, I would say that they are humble, grateful, giving and compassionate.
Stephanie stole my heart when I found her on Instagram. I actually do not know her in person, but I like who she is and what she stands for. She is a mother that puts family first, is highly intelligent, deep, sensitive, confident, and ready to speak to the entire world(when the time is right).
She says, “I think people should have the right to practice their own beliefs and religions as long as it doesn’t hurt other people. So I am against ISIS killing innocent people and using hate propaganda. But it goes both ways because the media has used hate propaganda since 9/11 against Muslims.”
She speaks of topics many of us can relate to and understand but don’t have the courage to bring up. She is definitely not hiding anything or holding back; her message is clear and pretty simple: this world and everybody in it has some work to do. That means you, me, and she definitely includes herself.
Stephanie is raising her children to be the kind of people you would want your children to marry someday. She is the kind of person you would want as your neighbor. She believes that just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it is wrong.
1) Who are you?
I am a 32 year old married mother of 2 (boy and girl). I have been involved in Fashion since I was a young girl sewing my own clothes then going to the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. After working in the industry for over 10 years and moving to Connecticut for my husband’s job I started an online and digital magazine Covertime for Modest Fashion and Pop Culture. As a woman of faith, I like many others are looking for less revealing clothes than mainstream brands have to offer.
My maternal grandfather was Cherokee Native American, my maternal grandmother was French, my paternal grandfather was British, and my paternal grandmother was Austrian. At 21 years old I found Islam by reading the Quran. I have always believed in one God not associating him with another being. My parents did not raise us any particular religion… telling us that we could decide for ourselves. After reading the Quran and taking my Shahada (my testimony of declaring belief in one God and that Muhammed was the Seal of God’s Prophet’s). I still keep ownership of my faith and will not blindly follow another human being without making my own conclusions and doing my own research. Recently I found out by watching “Spiritual Waters Running Deep” that I was like an Indigo Child. This was a major learning curve for me and I was better able to put together my life puzzle. It explained why I could not relate to most people even as a young child and also why I am extremely sensitive with my body and emotional feelings.
2) What is the greatest challenge you have overcome/are overcoming?
There are a few major purposes I feel like I have been training for my whole life:
– Covertime Magazine was a very passionate project for me after giving birth to my daughter. I was looking at society and imagining my daughter growing up where women are treated with emphasis on sexuality. At 19 years old I was in the modeling industry, signed with Women Model Management, one of the top in the world. From my experience it is a very dangerous industry with some illegal activities happening. And the outcome of the images from this industry our society praises as having that high level of success. I do not think people realize what kind of things go on behind the scenes. It will take someone with a lot of guts and the right opportunities to speak out against this industry. I feel like I am this person insha’Allah (god willing). There are other women ex-models as well trying to speak out.
– With all these divisions of people being created right now, I do not feel like I belong to one group, but I feel like all humanity is supposed to unite. Good VS Evil, but the important thing is for people to realize that we are all capable of creating evil thoughts and actions so it starts with ourselves and dealing with these issues. You cannot help others until you have helped yourself. Everyone is at a different part or level of their spiritual awakening so it will take time. I will start and try to do some speaking in communities to help people see things in different perspectives and break some of the fears. We all need to learn to think for ourselves because otherwise we are in a way brainwashed so easily by what media and others opinions are. A good example of this is the Muslim Women. Muslim literally translates to “submitted to God”. We are very misunderstood because of how media talks about us. Muslims are only humans, and you can not judge Islam by Muslims because everyone has a different interpretation or level of their faith. All religions teach basically the same thing of worshiping God, having self control and the peace of mankind. The differences come from the hand of man adding their parts or interpretation.
3) What have you learned?
I have learned that you have to become what you are seeking! Sometimes we wander so much looking for that person to help us or guide us, but in reality that person is our self.
I have learned that you have to choose to be happy and focus on all your blessings. This is hard when you are trying to make societal changes. You can only shed your light in the darkness for a bit of time, but you need to go back to the light so that you don’t lose your own light. It is a balancing act that I am still trying to get right.
Your vibe attracts your tribe. We all give off vibes and energy and are affected by others energy. So we have to be aware of that energy we give off. I also learned to save my deepest thoughts and conversations for people that appreciate it. We lose energy when speaking, so energy conservation is important if you do not want to burn out.
Also, Expectations are Resentments waiting to happen. I am constantly trying to submit to God’s will as much as possible. You still have to patiently persevere, but at the same time pay attention to the signs. Some things are not meant to happen no matter how hard you try.
Asalamulaikum (Peace be upon you)