Mrs. Sadaf Syed, a native Californian who now lives in Illinois, has photographed American Muslim women who wear the hijab, or head covering. The result is a stunning coffee table book that has caught the attention of none other than President Obama.
On August 13, 2010 Obama recognized both Mrs. Syed and iCover: A Day in the Life of a Muslim-American COVERed Girl in a White House ceremony. Both the first and second editions of the coffee table book, which were printed as limited editions, sold out within months of being published.
"To be honored by the President of United States reconfirms the value of iCOVER," said Syed. "It's uplifting and yet a humbling feeling to be invited to the White House. (The invitation) itself, is a very American thing!"
"Over the last four years, I've traveled across the country to photograph Muslim women who cover their hair. The intention was to showcase what it means to be a Muslim-American woman," Syed said. "Piecing together these photographs and quotes from the women I met, I self-published this unique coffee table book celebrating Muslim women in America."
In doing so Syed, a photojournalist and portrait photographer with a degree in communications and photojournalism from California State University at Fullerton, has been on her own journey of self-discovery -- one that has lead to the White House.
Mrs. Syed captures moments in the day-to-day lives of Muslim women, moments that the average American can relate to once they embrace the fact that these ladies cover their hair. The accompanying photo captions and personal quotes add another dimension to the women's lives. You hear the voices of a dancer, a surfer-girl, a biker, a tri-athlete and even a boxer and touch their thoughts, dreams, struggles and fears. With each page, a stereotype is shattered and the misunderstandings that surround the female followers of a faith of 1.3 billion, diminish.
iCOVER has garnered significant publicity both domestically and internationally. It has been endorsed by artists and journalists alike. The book is available at www.sadafsyed.com.