#WomanCrushEveryday: Esra Alhamal

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Heartbreakingly, 2017 hasn’t been much of a step-up from 2016 so far. For every one hundred people who have made efforts to spread love and compassion across the country, for every one hundredth member of the emergency services who has bravely ran into danger, there is one preacher of hatred and isolation. These people, who advocate for segregation and pursue the diminishment of diversity, do not deserve to be heard. Unfortunately, these people include a 70-year-old President with a xenophobic tendency to spew out his rage-fuelled, discriminatory judgement to over 30 million twitter followers. Leave him to his bigotry; he has more people opposing his views than agreeing with them, and we can begin to stand up to these preachers of malice with the strength of inclusion and basic human empathy.

Today’s #WomanCrushEveryday is a young, Muslim travel blogger called Esra Alhamal, who is venturing out into the world proudly wearing her hijab. Born in Saudi Arabia, the 29-year-old PhD student has lived and worked in the UK for seven years. In the current climate of Islamophobia, Esra has found an important role she must perform as a representative of the Muslim community: to travel, exuding tolerance, resilience and a sense of unity.

Esra is only one of the 1.7 billion Muslims on the planet. She has recognised the influence she can offer as a member of Islam, a reason to look down on certain campaigners for division in our world. This kindness is not limited to Islam – it reaches out to everyone. Study any religious scripture, ask anyone who doesn’t even identify as religious, and you will see instinctive foundations of peace and protection. It’s our job to distinguish those who lack this insight (such as the man who recently dragged a Muslim woman, by her hijab, across a pavement in London) and not let them win.

This post is not just crushing on Esra. It is crushing on the millions of women and men – you and I included – who can help to turn away from the current chaos of hostility. 2017 still has five months left; find some inspiration and let's avoid a repeat of last year.

Visit Esra's website here.