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 in the Redwood forest of Northern California with her husband and son.
Poetry and Music: Mona started penning 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 over a million views on youtube and another million on Facebook which featured Mona 8 months pregnant with her second son, surrounded by an intersectional group of dynamic women rapping and singing “all around the world love women every shading” calling out racism and colorism. Mona’s second single 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.
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, Al Jazeera, The Boston Globe among other media outlets.
Currently Mona is working on her second collection of poems and her first work of nonfiction on Islamic Spirituality through the lens of other spiritual traditions. She is working towards her Masters in Theology. Mona helps to grow a more universal love with her activism, writing, performing and teaching.