LONDON – A British-Muslim Youtuber has been giving her audience insights into the life of Muslim women, changing misunderstandings surrounding the love lives of Muslim women.
“It’s not very common to find someone like me talking about relationships in a fun and light-hearted way,” Asha Hussein, 24, told Cosmopolitan.
Hussein started her YouTube channel, Asha Everyday, in 2015 and has since been giving viewers an honest insight into her life as a young Muslim woman.
The London-based vlogger covers a wide range of topics on her channel, which currently has 17,000 subscribers, including university life, sexual harassment, and relationships.
“I think people have this view that we’re really conservative, submissive to men, not career-driven and all we want to do is get married,” she said.
“They think Muslim men control us and that we have to wear the hijab. It’s like we don’t date at all and just wake up one day and find out we’re getting married.”
Hussein also wants to tackle the stigma surrounding arranged marriage, stressing that it is very different from forced marriage.
“Arranged marriages are normal and I think a lot of people don’t actually realise they have arranged marriages,” she says.
“It’s like me saying to you, ‘I’ve got a friend and they want to get to know you’. If I introduced you and you guys got married, that would be an arranged marriage. But because it happens in a Muslim setting, people are like, ‘Oh my god, you guys have arranged marriages!’ It’s so weird and stupid.”
As for dating, Asha’s keen to point out that Muslims go through exactly what everyone else does.
“Even when you do meet someone your parents have chosen for you to get to know, you still go through all the emotions of a ‘normal’ first date. You still have those butterflies and you worry about who’s going to pay. It’s the exact same feelings, it’s just that the journey towards establishing an exclusive relationship or marriage that’s slightly different.”
Coming up against these misconceptions can be “very annoying” Asha explains.
“I am a British woman – I have that identity. I have the same values as any other British woman that isn’t Somali. It’s frustrating that anyone would think I’d be different.”