By Sonya Hollins, editor
KALAMAZOO (MICH)- When Zarinah El-Amin Naeem visited Senegal she heard and witnessed how difficult it is for some girls to achieve even the basic right of literacy. Her heart went out to them and she decided to make a difference. For years she has coordinated Beautifully Wrapped Art headwrapping workshops which teach women a variety of ways to wear decorative scarves as headdress. So she has taken that passion to a new level to create a calendar of women around the world who are wearing headwrappings.
The calendar entitled, “Beautifully Wrapped: Portraits of Women Religiously and Culturally Adorned with Cloth,” was featured during the Art Hop on January 7 at Fire, 1249 Portage St. The project features photography by emerging and established artists and models from around the world who enjoy the art of Headwrapping. A mini-exhibition of stunning portraits of women of various ethnic and religious backgrounds donning vibrant and colorful headwraps, geles, hijabs and other headcoverings were displayed.
The calendar also includes dates of religious significance, women’s history, as well as the Islamic Calendar and serve as educational tools for those looking to build their religious and cultural knowledge. The limited-edition 2011 Beautifully Wrapped calendar retails for only $13.95 and is available online at www.niyah.net and www.amazon.com. Wholesale, bulk and fundraising options are available. Collaborations with organizations intersted in using the calendar for fundraising are also welcome.
Funds from the calendar will go toward the 10,000 Girls program (www.100000girls.org). The education program founded by CNN American Hero, Dr. Viola Vaughn is based in Kaolack, Senegal and works to provide young ladies with an education and means for positive evolution.
“The 10,000 Girls program trains young ladies to become agents of their own lives,” said El-Amin Naeem. “They start businesses, they teach each other, they speak up for themselves and their communities. I was inspired and I knew we had to do our part.”
El-Amin Naeem, a native of Detroit, has been in Kalamazoo for six years. She and her husband moved to the city when he began his doctoral program in counseling and psychology at Western Michigan University. She is currently coordinator of programming for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at WMU as well as Chief Spiritual Officer of Niyah, a Creative Living and Publishing Company.
“The calendar serves as a mirror for those ladies who enjoy the art of headwrapping, are fashionably fly but never quite represented in mainstream publications,” she said. “We also wanted to highlight the religious side of wrapping. Nine of the 12 women represented are Muslim, the others are Christian or practice African Traditional spirituality. We wanted to show a diversity of women from various ethnic and religious backgrounds.“
The women featured in the calendar were selected after a world-wide call for photos of women wearing head wraps. A panel of judges selected the top 12; three of which were from a photo shoot xx held for their upcoming How-To book on Headwrapology.
Every year Niyah creates a product to benefit an international development program and this year the calendar is their project. Their goal is to raise a minimum of $10000 for the program.
Publisher El-Amin Naeem says, “Here in the US, we are blessed with unlimited opportunities for education. This calendar gives us a way to invest in their future.”
Niyah Publishing produces goods and events which contribute to the positive evolution of society.
For more information or for PRESS inquires, contact 313-377-2857; email@example.com; www.niyah.net
Calendar credits include: Photographers include: Alvyn Maranan & Mohammed Langston; www.viilbs.com Eve Rivera; www.flickr.com/photos/layla-eve/ David Young, www.youngdavid.com Mohammed Langston; Mlhues.com Sarah R. Larson; firstname.lastname@example.org Aisha Haji-Jama; email@example.com Adrian Asim of RM Dot. Designs www.Revolutionarymines.com<http://www.revolutionarymines.com/> Abdul Aziz; www.thephotoaziz.com Clothing by Iesha Prime of HIPS Boutique Halima Salah.