Meet the Author: Guest Interview with Jenan Matari

It's time to meet the mind that challenged us to never let our own doubts or fears get in the way of our success. Had Jenan Matari let such simple limitations get in her way, she wouldn't have spark the expansive journey that is MissMuslim. Today, we get to peek behind the curtain to learn a little more about the soul behind the voice.


We know you’re a HUGE traveler, but asking where you’d like to go seems too easy. Instead, we’re going to toughen things up and ask: If you could only travel to three more destinations (previously visited and/or brand new) before you were forced to settle down, where would you go and why?

          Oof! You weren’t kidding – this is tough. To be clear – I will be “settling down” soon (#marriedlife) but I’ll be forcing my spouse to travel with me, ha. But for the sake of this game I’ll play along – I would absolutely return to Morocco. I was only there for a brief stay and got to see their coast of Agidir, I never made it to Marrakesh and that was one regret I have because it was only 3 hours away! Since I knocked Australia off my #1 spot – my new “must go some point in life” destination is now Cape Town, South Africa. I’ve heard nothing but incredible things about it and it just seems like a magical place. And #3, would have to be New York City. As much as I love traveling and seeing the world – I will always return home and I guess if I had only one place left to go I’d go home.

If you were to run for President of the United States, what five people would you want in your cabinet and why?

          Well for starters, Michael Johnson (I’d also settle for being in HIS cabinet when he runs for president one day) because he’s badass. Super knowledgeable in political affairs – he’s actually teaching me some of his secrets. Amal Clooney – because she’s also badass, and everyone needs a bestie human rights attorney in this world. Oprah – because she’s Oprah. Ellen DeGeneres – because you need to surround yourself with good souls who make an effort to better other people’s lives. And keeping up with the badassary, my mother. Because there isn’t a single human being other than her who can keep me humble, and remind me of my goals and believe in me the way she does. I couldn’t be president without her morally guiding me through life the way she does now. Is it obvious that I’d be a “different” kind of president? Also, Michael –if you don’t do a good job I’d replace you with Michelle Obama.  

(Image by: Sam Cannon)

(Image by: Sam Cannon)

          Finally, your culture is a big part of who you are and what you do. If you were brought in as an Executive Producer for a new Disney film based on the culture and history of your community, what would the name of your protagonist be, and what kind of adventure would he/she face?

          Her name would obviously be Jenan, and she would obviously be going on an adventure to make the world a nicer place by doing good things for others and spreading the love. Can you tell I’ve imagined my life as a movie script before? These were literally the hardest questions I’ve ever been asked in my life.  

(Photo by:   Jon Pivko)

(Photo by: Jon Pivko)

For more from Jenan, be sure to check out her guest piece: "Argue for Your Limitations", and be sure to check out her regular posts at MissMuslim!