byHamza's vision is to highlight the beauty of the Arabic language, thus replacing negative associations of fear, terrorism and misery with hopes and dreams — all through charity.
Simple words can be a small step toward breaking down barriers and disproving prejudices that Arab and Muslim societies face every single day.
byHamza sheds light upon the hope and aspirations of communities facing Islamophobia, aiming to inspire its consumers with a glimpse into situations by capturing the beauty of each individual and event.
This project will contribute to frontier and highlight the beauty of the Arabic language by offering a pre-collection of tote bags carrying Arabic words & phrases.
Even though Covid-19 is occupying our thoughts and things may feel surreal, islamophobia is an ongoing issue that Middle-Eastern people has to deal with every single day.
A UC Berkeley student was booted from Southwest Airlines for speaking Arabic over the telephone.
“On 6 April, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, an Iraqi refugee and UC Berkeley student, was on a Southwest Airlines flight at Los Angeles international airport talking to his uncle on the phone. He was removed, interrogated and searched by the FBI as a result. Then he was forced to find another flight. Why? Because another passenger heard him speak Arabic. “Inshallah,” which means “God willing,” an expression used by all native speakers of Arabic irrespective of religious affiliation, seems to have been the trigger”.
My name is Aliaa Noelle Hamza, I was born and raised in Larvik with three siblings. As a Norwegian girl, born of a Syrian mother and Iraqi father who both immigrated because of political issues and war, life has been different with another cultural background and family history. Growing up in a community with a different story than my Norwegian friends, I had to accept norms and rules from two completely different cultures, which could be really challenging. This has, however, formed me into who I am today, and I have never been prouder of my background - because I haven't been exposed to Islamophobia in the same way many refugees have.
I want to work for a society that sees diversity as a resource and reduces the prejudices and xenophobia associated with the refugee situation in Norway today. I am proud to be a Norwegian Syrian-Iraqi, and I will continue spreading love and inspiring people with my own and other people's stories.
My mother's background and our family's situation inspire me to do something good for my second home, Syria. Not being able to go back to Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011, I want to do my best from my safe home in Norway.
I want this project to communicate that Islam, Muslims, and the Arabic language do not equal terror; and that refugees are not fortune hunters. That countless children and their families who fled their countries will not give up but live in hope for a brighter and better future. The tote bags will challenge any preconceived prejudices towards the Arabic and Muslim community, the Arabic language and refugees. Every phrase has a meaningful message and story behind it.