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Its a pleasure to interview sister Raabia, on get-inspired series, turning disability into ability is what I respect her for, Masha Allah!
Ayshabintmahmud: Assalam alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh sister Raabia! It’s a pleasure getting in touch with you, Alhamdulillah! So, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Raabia Hussain: My name is Raabia Hussain and I am 23 years of age. I recently graduated from Leeds Beckett University with a degree in filmmaking. I am a filmmaker, a scriptwriter and myself. I am deaf! I have produced and directed films since 2012, I have directed short films including “September 11th” which was part of BSL Zone and “Teach Me” which was part of the British Film Institute (BFI), and currently I am working for ITV as a technical production specialist, direct the pilots and in my free time I write stories. Since I was a young girl, I have always dreamed about becoming a filmmaker and now I am working towards to my dream.
A: Subhanallah! That part “I am deaf” really touched my heart because most of us have been blessed with the ability to hear, yet we take that for granted. How do you feel and interact with people despite the fact that you can’t hear?
R: I am blessed to have a cochlear implant. This helps me to hear environmental noises, though my hearing isn’t the same as people would expect. I have an implant behind my right ear as I am profoundly deaf in my left ear, this is the reason why I learnt BSL (British Sign Language) helps me to communicate as I don’t possess full speech.
A: How do you communicate with people? Do you find it easy or difficult?
R: In my workplace I ensure that people use the interpreter, especially if it is work related. However in community I will lip read or use gesture or even ask people to write things down so we can communicate. Sometimes I can be ignored by people, when they realise I am deaf they won’t bother to communicate incase they get embraced or find it difficult to explain something.
A: Being a sister that plays different roles in life, How do you handle stress and pressure? And What is your source of motivation to move on?
R: In my society it is rare to see a female working in the media, and the company are treating me equal because of my contribution not because legislation says they have to. I take pressures because of my deafness, but I am determined to prove people wrong.
A: Your field requires interaction with different people from different background and part of the world, What challenges do you face Interracting with them?
R: I feel discriminated, and society views me as disabled, People may assume since am young that I have no experience.
A: what is the greatest change you’d love to see in the world today?
R: women should be treated with respect and especially disabled women. Society needs to look at the contribution someone can give and not just look at the person with the assumption they “can’t do” as they are disabled.
A: what advice or words of motivation do you have for other sisters?
R: Patience is the key, along with self-belief. The colours of someone’s skin is irrelevant to what they are capable of achieving. Determination and a purpose in life is what drives people on. Nothing is impossible!
A: One last question sis! recently in a Sisters workshop, a sister asked me if she could give up her hijab because of her profession. But subhanallah you still holding on to the Islamic dressing, what do you have to say about this ?
R: No company could refuse and ask me to remove my hijab, everyone has their own beliefs and the right to practice this as part of their religion. If a company refused you the opportunity of a position within their company because of your beliefs, then sadly it is their loss! Your tenacity will pay off in the long term. People will employ you because of your skill, experience and personality. Do not give up!
A: Thank you so so much sis for your time!
R: JazakAllah Khair for letting me be part of your interview. Much appreciate.
A: Ameen waantum fajazakillah khairan.
Hope you learnt something from her story? Don’t forget to comment, your feedback are always important to us, there’s no us without you!
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