By Aysha Mairel –
More than 300 women gathered for the second annual The Night Unveiled on January 2, 2016, at the Phoenix Airport Marriott. “Events like this are important to create an environment to meet new people, strengthen their bonds, and give them a way to party in an environment that is halal and more acceptable,” said Asma Hegazy, Chandler, 26.
The Night Unveiled is a women-only event held by Maya Event Co. to showcase Muslim businesses founded and run by women, “so that the businesses can know about each other and support each other,” said Sumaya Abdul-Quadir, event organizer and president and founder of Maya Event Co. The event consists of vendors who have the opportunity to publicize their businesses as well as dancing, and performances for the event participants.
Over 300 tickets were sold. About 200 were sold online, the rest at the door. “I like the fact that everyone showed up and that this event is tailored to women, it is empowering. We need to unite, all get to know each other, and have fun,” said Tara Ijai, 42, of Phoenix.
While the goal of the event was to ultimately bring businesses together, it wasn’t all work. The room was set up for a combination of work and play. Vendor displays were set up against the outer walls of the room and in the middle was a dance floor. Just above hung strings of lights and a couple disco balls.
There were a total of 14 vendors. A few of the prominent vendors were Love Glasses Revolution, Krispy Krunchy Chicken, Modest Muslimah, Envirofarm Ranch and Sloppy Brush Art.
Among the performances were an a cappella version of an Arabic song and a Chinese classical dance as well as the honoring of the organizers Sumaya and Anisa Abdul-Quadir.
“A lot of Muslim girls don’t have time to express themselves and have fun. Because they live in an area where they can’t do that, this is a great way to communicate with one another,” said Raneem Muraweh, 18, of Chandler.
“We got to interact socially and network with one another. It’s good for Muslim women to support each other in their businesses and other endeavors they might have,” said Jameela Pugh, 69, of San Tan Valley.