RELIGION
07/25/2013 08:12 am ET

Single Muslim Women Break Barriers As They Face Age Discrimination (VIDEO)

Looking for Mr. (or Mrs.) Right is not easy for anyone. Now add in the religious and social pressures of being a Muslim woman. Four such women joined HuffPost Live's Dena Takruri to discuss the challenges they've faced and how they've broken cultural barriers.

Zeba Iqbal, a real estate professional who experienced age discrimination when looking for a partner, said, "Beyond a certain age, it can work against you. I think mainly because in my case I was over 35, and I think the cut off age -- what is acceptable -- has been increasing over time. So when I was 25, I was too old. When I was 30, I was too old. When I was 35, I was too old."

While she concedes that "things are changing" today, Iqbal continued, "I do think age discrimination is pretty significant in our communities."

Similarly, Sara Yasin, a writer, said, "As soon as you start developing breasts, there's someone who thinks you're on the market." She added that growing up hearing about "suitors" and what it means to "be a proper wife" is "one of the most frustrating experiences in the world."

In the same vein, Donna Moustapha, an Assistant District Attorney, described her traditional childhood. "It was very taboo growing up to even talk about dating," she said.

Her parents' emphasis on maintaining their Syrian cultural traditions while immersing their children in the American education system pushed Moustapha to focus on herself, rather than men. "It became a priority to focus on education and waiting for the right guy to come along who would blend in with having cultural norms but at the same time a western mentality," Moustapha continued.

For more on this discussion, watch the full segment below:

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