Women's Activism NYC

Asma Elbadawi

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Asma Elbadawi is a Sudanese-British hijabi basketball player and poet. Elbadawi was not very well known until 2014 when she lobbied the International Basketball Association, FIBA, to overturn the ban on hijabs being worn in basketball. Being able to publicly display and represent her religion, Islam, by wearing a hijab is very important to Elbadawi, especially while doing something she loves: playing basketball. After about two years of campaigning, she was successful in convincing FIBA to remove the ban on hijabs and other religious headwear in the professional sport. She and her friends received approximately 130,000 signatures on an online petition they drafted up for her “FIBA Allow Hijab” campaign. Aside from being an activist and a talented basketball player and coach, Elbadawi is also a spoken word poet. She utilizes her poems to raise awareness for important social issues. One of her most famous poems was one that was released in 2017 to mark Women’s Sport Week, which was about her experience being a female Muslim basketball player. This poem was even featured on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Additionally, Elbadawi has won multiple titles for her poems, such as BBC Radio 1Xtra’s ‘Words First’ Competition in 2015. Elbadawi is an inspirational woman who stood up for Muslims everywhere and pushed for there to be no ban on hijabis playing professional basketball and representing their religion at the same time.

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