In Talks with Maab Saifeldin | Being Black S2 E3

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a current LPC/LLM student at BPP. I am a natural introvert but I have a very child-like and wild side around my closest friends. I like to make people laugh and I am huge foodie. I am a perfectionist and a slight control freak but I also love being spontaneous.

In 3 words/phrases, can you describe what being black means to you? Why have you chosen these words/phrases?

Elegance, powerful and joyful. I chose elegance because whenever you think a dress code to an elegant party it is always ‘black’ tie and I believe black women hold some much elegance which needs to be appreciated. 

Powerful because we hold a lot of power in being trendsetters as well as the power to continue to stay and be strong no matter the circumstances

Joyful because I love seeing black people happy and in complete joy. I want to see more of that.

Have you ever faced adversity in your profession or career progression because you were black AND Muslim AND a woman? Can you share your experience and how did you overcome them?

I’ve had a couple of comments from some very ignorant people both in me working but also during my LLB. I’ve been told I look like a terrorist and I’ve had someone tell me black people are more racist than white people. It’s been a crazy ride. I think the way I’ve overcome it is by ranting to my family and also education. I educated myself but also educate others (I do it far less now). I try to focus on myself and let the background noise die out slowly. 

How have you broken through the legal profession as a black Muslim woman?

I don’t think I’ve broken through the legal profession yet but I’m looking forward to that day.

In your opinion, what do you think is the best way to make your ‘blackness’ and racial identity stand out for you?

I think just being myself is enough. I don’t need to do anything extra or be anything extra. As long as I am truly myself, living my best life and doing what I think is a true reflection of my values and morals, that is enough.

Advice to black students/recent graduates looking to break through their chosen industry?

Be yourself, don’t let what people say hold a lot of weight in your life and your decisions. Remember that there are people who want to see you win and do well. Just focus on your goal and focus on being happy.

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