60 seconds with Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Mechanical engineer, social advocate, and writer

What are you enjoying doing at the moment?
Working on the script for a motorsport podcast and catching up on a lot of cycling with friends.

What is the best thing that happened to you today?
I had a great singalong with some of my friends to some 90s R&B hits impromptu in the hallway while getting coffee

If you were a super-heroine, what powers would you like to have?
The ability to give people self-confidence and belief in themselves.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
What I do now.

What do you most value in your friends?

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a woman from an immigrant or refugee background?
The assumptions people make when I meet them and the fact that there is often an unconscious bias that I have to work against.

For you, what’s the best thing about being a woman from an immigrant/refugee background?
I have a richness in culture and a strength borne of generations of strong women of colour and faith struggling and succeeding DESPITE their circumstances. I am so proud of the heritage that I inherit.

If you could invite any woman (dead or living) to dinner tonight, who would it be?
Khadija AS, the first wife of the Prophet Mohammed SAW. What a woman! She was a business woman, strong and his truest love. I could learn so much.

Tell me about an amazing woman you know.
My mother. Honestly, a woman who gave up everything for her family, who challenges norms without question, who supports me and pushes me to achieve everything I can and more.

Name a  film that changed your life.
‘Catch that Kid’ It’s how I fell in love with cars!

What are you reading right now?
The 51st edition of the Griffith Review called ‘Fixing the System’, and a book on Sudan.

Do you have a song/music that inspires and motivates you?
‘Work’ by Bluejuice

What is your favourite possession?
My bicycle – I love the freedom it represents

If you could convince the world of one thing, what would it be?
That we should care for one another and that hedonism won’t serve us.  That our collective well-being is important.

If you could meet the Prime Minister tomorrow, what would like to tell him?
Sort yourself out mate. Stop being so rude to the asylum seekers who are asking for our help.

Finish this sentence: “We need feminism because …”
…the world has a long way to go to reach true equality.