E:60 Ibtihaj Muhammad Feature



I watched this feature on a Muslim-African American who competed in fencing for the USA at the Olympics this year. Muhammad became the first Olympic athlete to wear a hijab while representing the United States.

Before I clicked on the video, I pretty much knew what it was going to be about. She was going to get looks for wearing her hijab, she was going to get racially profiled by some closed-minded idiot or idiots and she was going to talk about how 9-11 only added to the amount of discrimination she faced.

All of that happened, and I don’t mean to be dismissive of what Muhammad went through. It was still a story that very much deserved to be told, and it was told quite well.

That said, her journey to the Olympics is very impressive. She didn’t let the outside world dictate her success in fencing. Abby Wambach did a good job of narrating and putting together this feature. The back-and-forth interview worked in this case.

The only criticism I have would be that the feature went from good news to bad news, back to good news and so on and so forth. As I felt for Muhammad post-9-11, it jumped to her accepting a scholarship at Duke. It didn’t really fade in and out, it jumped back and forth with Muhammad’s experiences.

I watched this critically, and I didn’t see reenactments or staging. Maybe I missed something, but I thought this was a well put-together feature that was important to tell. I just felt like I knew this woman’s story before I watched it.


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