Yasmin Moussa was always a behind the scenes kinda’ girl, one day she peeked through the red velvet stage curtains and hasn’t looked back since.The 24-year-old says that decision empowered her to be a part of the bigger picture.“I was honestly sick of letting my shyness define me, I went to my local community legal service and said ‘I want to volunteer,’ within a week I went on to do an induction and after a couple of months there I could already feel myself transforming,” she said.Nowadays she has a full plate volunteering for Incubate Foundation, National Zakat Foundation, Whittlesea Community Legal Service, Her Project Inc, African Australian Women’s Advocacy Group (AAWAG), Islamic Society of Victoria University – to name a few. Alongside serving her community, Yasmin is studying a Bachelor of Laws/Arts and a Bachelor of Islamic Studies at Islamic Sciences & Research Academy (ISRA)“Of course you need to have deen and dunya covered,” she giggled.Despite all her achievements, including being a delegate for the Australia Indonesia Muslim Exchange Program 2016 and being part of curating a community forum series called Eyes Wide Shut, “every single time I stepped out of my comfort zone, now that was an achievement for me.”Highlighting identity, belonging and lack of connection with the Muslim community as the major challenges facing Muslim youths today, Yasmin said youths found it hard to resonate with “ideal narratives.”“We as a community aren’t talking about certain things that are plaguing our youth based on taboos, we need to start talking about them and start coming up with solutions before things get worse,” she said.
“I would like to see more doors open, there are barriers even for young Muslims to be part of Muslim organisations, why is it so hard to be part of a community you identify with and why is the only way in, a network? It shouldn’t be this way.”
Describing herself as an empowered young person, looking for new challenges and new opportunities to excel, Yasmin is inspired by her “awesome” mother and a quote she stumbled upon during her journey.“If you’re not on the table, you’re on the menu – honestly, I’m sick of being on the menu, we need to be more active in the process of decision making – especially decisions that directly affect us,” she said.