A Muslim woman recently made history after she became the first person to wear a hijab while anchoring news in the state of Connecticut.
Journalist Ayah Galal spoke to CTInsider, describing the moment as “an honour”, adding that she was excited to “be able to share and tell stories in [her] home state.”
Galal started her career as a major in Journalism and Political Science at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, before graduating in 2018. During her time in education, she got involved in a student-run television station called Q30 TV before applying for a producer position at News 8 in her last term. Even though she got the job and worked there for a year, it was behind the scenes and her dream was to be in front of the camera.
Fast forward a few months and here we are.
Galal appeared on WFSB News on Saturday morning equipped with charisma and a bright, red hijab and successfully provided the people of Connecticut with their daily dose of news.
Later on, she took to Instagram to talk about the incredible moment, writing: “Today was my first time anchoring at @WFSBnews and this marks the first time a woman in hijab has anchored in Connecticut!
“Excited for this personal and professional milestone. Wishing a safe and happy Holidays to all!”
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the journalist. As any Muslim woman would, she had some fears about the decision.
“I feared that because of my hijab, no news station would accept me for an on-air position, so that’s why I initially went for a behind-the-scenes position, but my colleagues pushed me to go for it,” Galal said.
One of the main reasons for her initial hesitance was, ironically, because of the media itself.
“For years, I have seen how Muslims have been misrepresented in the media. I think there are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about Muslims.”
However, she added that despite her fears, her passion for change motivated her to want to represent her community.
“Muslims are a part of the fabric of this country, and growing up, there were not people who looked like me on television. I’ve received so many messages from Muslim families, happy to see a Muslim on-air.”
This is a groundbreaking achievement for the Muslim community as well as journalism as a whole. Seeing people that reflect the society we live in is crucial in the fight for equality. Congratulations Ayah Galal!