Welcome to amaliah.com’s monthly ‘In Conversation With’ series!
Every month, we invite Muslim women on social media from across industries and across the world, to have some interesting conversations with Amaliah about their craft.
Being established in their profession, these women have offered to provide us all with a real insight into areas we’ve all had questions about, on everything from how they got their foot in the door, to what it’s like practicing their faith alongside their livelihoods and passions. We want to understand the women behind the crafts that they are known for.
This month, we’ve been in the kitchen with Master Chef contestant and founder of @Muslimneighbor Amanda Saab for a quick q&a about life, her profession and faith, enjoy!
Could you give our readers a bit of an intro about you and what you do?!
Amanda: I was born and raised in Michigan. I began cooking with my mom when I was a child. I began blogging at amandasplate.com in 2013 as a way to share my recipes with friends and family.
How did you get your start in the industry- how were you inspired you to pursue it as a your main career?
Amanda: I began my blog in 2013 and auditioned for MasterChef soon after. I’ve since continued my career in social work 🙂
What are you’re go-to wellbeing foods?
Amanda: I love a good smoothie in the morning to kick start my day. Here are a few favourites:
What qualities do you find cooking brings out in you?
Amanda: Cooking allows me to be creative and artistic. It gives me the opportunity to try new things and be adventurous.
What is it about cooking, and even your profession that keeps you motivated?
Amanda: Being able to share things I’ve made with my family and friends keeps me motivated to create new things.
While many are curious, insights into the industry are hard to come by unless you’re invested in the craft. Could you shed some light on what navigating the industry has been like so far? What about as a Muslim woman? Have you found your faith easily reconcilable with your craft? In what ways/what ways not?
Amanda: I continue to learn every day. The world, and any industry, are what you make of it. Some people may expect to know everything overnight but good things take time and if you are willing to learn and grow and adapt you will do great! My faith leads all that I do, so if it doesn’t align with who I am as a person then I just don’t go down that path.
#DinnerWithYourMuslimNeighbor was created in response to the anti Muslim rhetoric, the increase of hate crimes against Muslims and the rise of islamophobia. We wanted to provide our neighbors the opportunity to get to know the Muslims next door. ???? We’ve hosted 18 dinners across 4 states and even cooked a full Passover meal! ????????☪️✡️✝️☮️ we are finalizing our toolkit so you can have everything you need to host your own dinner! ????✨our goal is for one dinner to be hosted in each of the 50 states ???? that means we need all of you to be willing to break bread (and barriers) and host a dinner! More details to come! Please follow @muslimneighbor for updates. Full @todayshow clip on our Facebook page! ???????? Jum3aa Mubarak
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What are your thoughts on the current spotlight around Tayyib and Halal to you in the Muslim community? What do these principles mean to you?
Amanda: As Muslims and conscious consumers, we should be thinking about where our food is coming from and how animals are treated. I think its great that more attention is being brought to how our foods are raised and processed. We should also be evaluating the companies to ensure they are ethical in their treatment of their employees as well.
What do you do to hone in on your craft?
Amanda: I continue to challenge myself in the kitchen by trying new recipes and techniques.
How do you see your work tie into your higher purpose?
Amanda: My work is always tied to a higher purpose, as I use my platform to bring awareness to causes that matter to me.
Ramadan Kareem everyone! ????✨While we may have lots of pretty food, reality is many do not have enough to eat. This Ramadan, I have partnered with @unrwausa and some amazing influencers to raise funds for Gaza! ????????You have seen the horrific situation happening in Gaza right now????and they need our prayers and they also need our support in providing them aid. I have set a goal of $3500, which will directly feed Palestine refugee families for the entire summer. ????????The US administration cut funding to UNRWA by $300 million this year! These cuts impact thousands of families in Gaza. ????We can do something about it. ????????Please donate to my campaign (LINK IN BIO)????Any amount makes a difference. This is the month of mercy and giving, so let's give back to the people of Gaza and show them we care. #gazalifeline #FundUNRWA Also so excited to announce that I am doing this campaign with @israspeaks @nourka92 @doonz__ @fatuminamusic @hijabioffthegrid @allthingsfatima @amalthepoet @abayaaddict @makeuphijabs @neelam_ @amandasplate @faten.odeh @zallibhai @fatimamekkaoui
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If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Amanda: I am doing exactly what I want to be doing so I can’t really imagine doing anything different ☺
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone about to embark on a journey in food!?
Amanda: My advice to someone about to embark on this journey in food is to find your voice and stay true to that. There are many trends and it can be easy to do what you think would be popular, but anyone can do that. The true art is creating something that is uniquely your own.
A huge thank you to Amanda for answering our questions, you can find her on Instagram at @amandasplate and on the great www. at amandasplate.com!