Billboard critics named Mona Haydar’s debut song, Hijabi (Wrap My Hijab) one of 2017’s top protest songs and then later named it one of the 25 top feminist anthems of all time. Mona is an emerging rapper, activist and artist. Growing up in Flint Michigan as a Syrian American, Mona developed her sound which is deeply rooted in her intersectional identity and sensibilities.
Mona Haydar is a rapper, poet, activist, practitioner of Permaculture, meditator, composting devotee, mountain girl, solar power lover and a tireless God-enthusiast. She practices a life of sacred activism, poetry, contemplation and advocacy for living gently upon the Earth. She teaches classes, gives lectures, leads retreats and workshops, does readings and performs her work. She grew up in Flint, Michigan, graduated from the University of Michigan and has since lived in Damascus where she studied Arabic and Islamic spirituality then went on to live in the mountains of Northern New Mexico at Lama Foundation and then in the Redwood forest of Northern California. After completing her Masters in Christian Ethics at Union Theological Theological Seminary in New York City in 2018, Mona and her family relocated to Marrakech, Morocco.
Poetry and Music: Mona started writing her poetry as soon as she was old enough to write. One of her first poems in a kindergarten journal went: “I am mood. I am dude. I am Mona.” Mona transitioned from writing and performing her poetry to rap in 2015. Her single “Hijabi” was a ground breaking debut with millions of views which featured Mona, 8 months pregnant with her second son, surrounded by an intersectional group of dynamic women as Mona sang “all around the world love women every shading” calling out racism and colorism. Mona’s second single, Dog takes on violence against women with lyrics which call out men in positions of religious authority who use their power to prey on young (and old) people.
Her EP, Barbarican was met with great reviews upon its release in 2018. The lead single, Lifted is a visual glory telling the story of what it is to lose and then find yourself. The song was written at a time when Mona was suffering from postpartum depression after the birth of her second child.
She and her work have been featured on Marie Claire, Glamour, BBC, CNN, BuzzFeed, AJ+, PRI, NPR, Mic, Psychology Today, Refinery 29, Milk, The Huffington Post, Ms Magazine, Fusion/Splinter and many others.
Ask A Muslim: Mona and her husband, Sebastian set up a stand in Cambridge, Massachusetts with signs that read ‘Talk to a Muslim’ ‘free coffee and donuts’ ‘free conversation’ and ‘Ask a Muslim’ encouraging open and loving dialogue which garnered the attention of NPR, People Magazine, Al Jazeera, AJ+, The Boston Globe among other media outlets.