Updated on Aug 12, 2018. Posted on Aug 11, 2018

    This Company Is Making The Cutest Hijabi Dolls To Inspire Young Muslim Girls

    “As a Muslim parent and speaking with other Muslim parents I hoped for a toy that would be more representative and inclusive, at the same time super cool and fun.”

    The Salam Sisters are five little dolls with big dreams and aspirations.

    Peter Gould, 36, from Australia, cofounded Zileej, the company that makes the dolls. He told BuzzFeed News the idea started with his daughters.

    “As a Muslim parent and speaking with other Muslim parents I hoped for a toy that would be more representative and inclusive, at the same time super cool and fun,” he said.

    Zileej / Salam Sisters

    The aim of the dolls is for girls to feel represented, which is why the dolls represent different ethnicities with a range of hair textures. “We want young girls who don’t often see their cultural identities and faith represented in a relatable way, to know that they can be proud of their background,” he said.

    Each of the dolls — Nura, Maryam, Karima, Yasmina, and Layla — represent a range of interests, like becoming a fashion designer, a surfer, or an astronaut.

    Subhi Bora

    He said: “They have distinct aspirations, from becoming a designer to starting their own charity when they grow up. These messages are passed on through storybooks to encourage young girls to dream big about their future.

    “Each doll’s personality and aspirations are the outcome of a range of influences, from looking at incredible Muslim women (and women of other beliefs) who are setting brilliant examples for young girls everywhere.

    “We wanted this connection with real examples to show that dreams don’t have to stop at being dreams, they can become reality.”

    One of the dolls is based on Yassmin Abdel-Magied, the Australian activist. He said: “We drew inspiration not only from Yassmin’s achievements, but from many different women to create our characters.”

    Something that was very important to creators was that the hijabs should be optional to accommodate personal choice. Gould continued: “It was important to us to provide the option of a headscarf to make that immediate visual link to the Islamic faith, and to show young girls that making the choice to be visibly Muslim can be celebrated in a beautiful way.”

    Ikran is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Ikran Dahir at ikran.dahir@buzzfeed.com.

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