Tahera Rahman had been a producer at her local news station for two years when she realized she was ready for a career change. Rahman applied for an on-air position at WHBF — a regional station servicing cities in Illinois and Iowa — and though she was qualified, some employers and mentors had their concerns because she proudly wears a hijab, and it simply hadn't been done before.
Rahman did everything she could to get the gig. "I knew that I was going to do what it took to be ready for that role; to be the perfect candidate for the job," she told Today. Finally, on Feb. 8, Rahman delivered her first broadcast and became the nation's first full-time TV reporter to wear a hijab on air.
Her story garnered a lot of attention and, shortly thereafter, Rahman received an outpouring of support from all over the world. "People from Mexico, Sweden, Eastern Europe telling me that they all stand behind me and are cheering me on." She added, "People from all over Iowa who have invited me to have dinner with their families and speak with their daughters."
There are, unfortunately, some viewers who haven't been so supportive — and Rahman says she feels sorry for them: "I hope that one day they can see me for what I see them: a friendly neighbor who is working hard, just like thousands of other everyday Americans, to achieve their goals and make their communities a better place in some small way."
"There's no reason your hijab should be a barrier."
Right now, she's not letting anything ruin her excitement. "It feels like I'm doing what I should be doing," she said. "There's no reason your hijab should be a barrier . . . Just because someone, or multiple people, might tell you so, doesn't make it true." Learn more about her inspiring story by watching her interview with Today's Megyn Kelly above.