A true passion for Islamic Studies

The following interview with Hinasahar Muneeruddin, a GSAS MA candidate in Islamic Studies, was originally published here

Where did you grow up?
Chicago, IL. Go Cubs!

What drew you to your field?
As a Muslim woman, I am especially drawn to the field of Islamic studies as a means of understanding the discourses and lived realities surrounding the subjection, subjugation, and everyday performativity of Muslims under liberalism.

What do you enjoy most about being a student at Columbia GSAS?
The interdisciplinary nature of the school and my program, especially. I am able to take classes from various schools in order to fully customize my experience here. This opportunity helps me and other students explore innovative perspectives on our research interests.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Aside from being en route to completing my master’s degree at Columbia, my greatest achievement has been in realizing that my true passion lies within the humanities, specifically within Islamic studies.

Whom in your field do you consider to be a role model?
Edward Said, one of the more prominent role models of the study of Muslims and the Middle East, who laid the foundation for how academics may study and define the subjects of this field.

Who are your favorite writers?
At the moment, Toni MorrisonZadie Smith, and Tayeb Salih.

Who are your heroes in real life?
To name a few of the many: Angela DavisAudre Lordebell hooksMalcolm X, and Muhammad Ali.

What music have you been listening to lately?
I am currently obsessed with Mashrou’ Leila, a Lebanese alternative rock band.

Where is your favorite place to eat on/around campus?
One of my favorite places around campus is Roti Roll Bombay Frankie on Amsterdam and 110th Street, since I love all Indian/Pakistani food.

What is your favorite blog or website?
One of my favorite blogs is MuslimGirl.com, which provides a critical and unique forum for Muslim women to reclaim their narratives.