In the United States there are magazines that cater to many different topics of interest and segments of the population. Now there is a magazine that targets Muslim Girls. It is called MG Magazine and not only is it FOR Muslim girls; it is written and published BY Muslim girls.
Today Yasmine El-Safy is getting ready to send the latest issue of MG Magazine out to its' subscribers.
Yasmine admits, "I can't work up against deadlines. I get crazy".
Yasmine El-Safy is MG magazine's founder, publisher and editor-in-chief. She is thirteen and a half-years-old. She says she started this magazine for Muslim girls because she couldn't relate to anything in the mainstream media. She also states, "They were fluffy and they just had, you know, like fashion and make-up and that's about it. I didn't see any value to any of them."
Living in a neighborhood in the Los Angeles area of California, with few other Muslim families, the magazine has also been a way for Yasmine to meet Muslim girls like herself.
Through websites and Internet discussion groups, Yasmine recruited other girls, one from as far away as Kuwait, to contribute to the magazine. They write about things such as peer pressure, and dressing modestly, and being a Muslim in a non-Muslim world. Yasmine's favorite article so far was by a university student in England.
Yasmine says, "This was the beginning of my path to self-discovery. I looked deep into my soul and asked myself where I wanted to belong. And I found the answer staring back at me. I wanted to be with the Muslims."
While MG Magazine is produced by Muslim girls, there is adult supervision provided by Yasmine's mother Lyla El-Safy. She says she reviews the articles for appropriateness, and "I try to stay out, I stay out of content of the articles but I have the final say. If there is something that I think is not appropriate or is going to be divisive amongst different groups of Muslims, I tell her we can't put that in because this magazine should be for all Muslim girls."
Lyla says the articles in the magazine reflect Muslim values. She also states that, "Something that is important in our religious tradition is to highly value the family and to respect one's parents. And so when you hear the girls in some of the articles talking about things that they would do or say you hear the respect for their family that comes through."
The magazine is still quite new. The number of subscribers is small but growing. The last issue sold about 120 copies. While Yasmine is gaining a lot of experience publishing a magazine, her father, Regab El-Safy, says that she is trying to grow up too fast.
"She is getting some aspect, which is business but dealing with it as a child, like playing or those kinds of things, like mischief with kids and those things, I don't think she's getting [to be a kid]. I think she is getting more the adult life," says her reluctant father.
Still, both parents are proud of their daughter's creativity and dedication to the magazine. And as she takes this issue to the post office, Yasmine El-Safy can take a moment to appreciate the final product… before starting all over again tomorrow.
Yasmine admits, "I love seeing all my work -- everybody's work!"