News Brief

Here Are Stunning Images From the 2017 Eid al-Adha Edition of #BlackOutEid

It's one of our favorite times of the year.

Eid Mubarak to our Muslim fam!


Today marks the official end of Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holy day held yearly during Hajj, the five-day pilgrimage to Mecca.

Also known as "The Feast of Sacrifice," it's one of the two major holidays where Muslims around the world congregate to give thanks and celebrate.

"We're honoring when Abraham was told to sacrifice his son and God allowed him to sacrifice a sheep instead," says Aamina Mohamed, the creator of the hashtag, #BlackOutEid.

Mohamed started #BlackOutEid three years ago to highlight diversity within the Muslim community though the lens of young black Muslims as they celebrate the holy holiday.

The hashtag has already made an impact in the digital space and Mohamed is moved by that.

"I'm actually pretty amazed at the continued self-sustaining support," she says. "I think of it a lot like, 'Wow, this is going to be amazing to look back on in 15 to 20 years. It's like a in real-time archival experience."

Take a look at the 2017 Eid al-Adha capsule of #BlackOutEid below:

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Photo by Lana Haroun

From #FeesMustFall to #BlueforSudan: OkayAfrica's Guide to a Decade of African Hashtag Activism

The 2010s saw protest movements across the continent embrace social media in their quest to make change.

The Internet and its persistent, attention-seeking child, Social Media has changed the way we live, think and interact on a daily basis. But as this decade comes to a close, we want to highlight the ways in which people have merged digital technology, social media and ingenuity to fight for change using one of the world's newest and most potent devices—the hashtag.

What used to simply be the "pound sign," the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game or what you'd have to enter when interacting with an automated telephone service, the hashtag has become a vital aspect of the digital sphere operating with both form and function. What began in 2007 as a metadata tag used to categorize and group content on social media, the term 'hashtag' has now grown to refer to memes (#GeraraHere), movements (#AmINext), events (#InsertFriendsWeddingHere) and is often used in everyday conversation ("That situation was hashtag awkward").

The power of the hashtag in the mobility of people and ideas truly came to light during the #ArabSpring, which began one year into the new decade. As Tunisia kicked off a revolution against oppressive regimes that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook played a crucial role in the development and progress of the movements. The hashtag, however, helped for activists, journalists and supporters of causes. It not only helped to source information quickly, but it also acted as a way to create a motto, a war cry, that could spread farther and faster than protestors own voices and faster than a broadcasted news cycle. As The Guardian wrote in 2016, "At times during 2011, the term Arab Spring became interchangeable with 'Twitter uprising' or 'Facebook revolution,' as global media tried to make sense of what was going on."

From there, the hashtag grew to be omnipresent in modern society. It has given us global news, as well as strong comedic relief and continues to play a crucial role in our lives. As the decade comes to a close, here are some of the most impactful hashtags from Africans and for Africans that used the medium well.

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Here are Some of the Incredible Looks from the 2019 Eid al-Adha Edition of #BlackOutEid

Young Black Muslims showed out once again for #BlackOutEid.

Yesterday marked the end of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holy day held yearly during Hajj, the five-day pilgrimage to Mecca.

Every year since 2015, young black Muslims, using the hashtag #BlackOutEid, created by Aamina Mohamed, use the hastag to show off their best looks. Mohamed created the movement in order to combat the erasure of black Muslims and highlight the diversity within the Muslim community.

"I'm actually pretty amazed at the continued self-sustaining support," Mohamed told OkayAfrica back in 2017. "I think of it a lot like, 'Wow, this is going to be amazing to look back on in 15 to 20 years. It's like a in real-time archival experience."

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Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun in "Noyé." Photo: Ben Depp.

The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Makwa x Maraza x AKA, Joeboy, Zlatan, Nadia Nakia, TOBi x The Game, Yilian Canizares, Aewon Wolf and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Trump Plans to Extend Travel Ban to Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan, Eritrea & Three Other Countries

Here's what the travel ban could mean for these nations.

On Tuesday it was announced that Donald Trump's administration plans to extend its infamous travel ban to include seven new countries, many of them in Africa.

The countries named on the list, include Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan and Eritrea, as well as Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and the Eastern European nation of Belarus. Politico first broke the news.

According to The Washington Post, the move would likely not be a complete ban on citizens looking to enter the US, however it could place various visa restrictions on some government officials and on those seeking certain type of visitor and business visas.

Some nations could also be banned from participation in the diversity travel lottery program, which grants green cards. Trump has threatened to sack the program in the past.

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