Who is Layla Obeid?

The daughter of a Syrian mother and a Jordanian father, Layla Obeid is a Muslim-American teen who yearns to educate herself and others about global events and politics. When she isn’t spending time with her family or drowning in school work, Layla busies herself with calligraphy, writing, filmmaking, reading, improving her Arabic, skiing, and watching Netflix. Along with all these activities, Layla loves spending time at ICCP, her local mosque.

As a girl who loves learning about the world’s cultures and meeting new people, Layla has traveled to 14 countries, including Syria. Though she was only 5 at the time, Layla still vividly remembers walking through Souq Al Hamadiyeh, smelling the jasmine in the air of Damascus. Another of her favorite memories was incepted this past summer in Jordan. “Many people from our family drove up from our hometown of Irbid to ‘Al Hammeh’ as they call it, a hotel with a few outdoor swimming pools near the Golan Heights. There are natural springs, though I didn’t actually go and see them, which I regret. We went to a hotel, checked in a room for a day, and used that as our headquarters for the trip. There were three large pools, and we were essentially the only people on the premises. We ate dinner there and swam and talked all day and it was just so much fun.” Moreover, Layla loves immersing herself in Middle Eastern politics and is very passionate about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and dealing with Zionism.

After a long day, you can find Layla enjoying the peacefulness of the night, winding down by listening to Qur’an or listening to her favorite Arab artist, Fairouz, who she describes as “a legend with such a soothing voice.” Along with all these things, Layla loves MYNA. Layla’s first MYNA camp, MYNA Winter 2017, made her fall in love with the whole program. She finally found a place where she fit in, and everyone just understood her. It was a place where she left with a feeling that she gained a new family. At MYNA, she met some of the best people in her life. She hopes that she continues to go to MYNA for years to come because MYNA helped her find a place where she can grow in her deen while uniting with other Muslim youth.

To Layla, success is doing your best and accepting that that’s what you’ve done and that is the most you could have done. In the future, she hopes to use journalism to document and show the world what’s going on internationally. She would love to study something in that field so she can go on to learn and teach about various cultures, conflicts, and experiences from people and groups of people universally. She hopes that through that, she can bring awareness to people in need.