Duo of Dearborn Girl podcast share stories of Arab-American community

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It is believed to be the first of its kind - and Rima Fadlallah and Yasmeen Kadouh say is needed now more than ever.

"There are so many beautiful stories in our city with women," Yasmeen said. "And nobody was telling our stories besides the outside media and everybody that wasn't us. So we wanted to reclaim that narrative." 

"We felt the only way to really solve that is to create a platform where women in our community can represent themselves," Rima said. "She and I, are very different. The women that we've talked to are very different.  We have learned a whole lot. Even from the seemingly homogenous people in our community, there is a whole lot of diversity."

Rima and Yasmeen launched the podcast Dearborn Girl, a positive space for Arab and or Muslim women to share their stories and inspire courageous conversation.

Both Rima and Yasmeen were born and raised in Dearborn and wanted to break stereotypes, clear up misconceptions and have people around the world see their community the way they do, using women who have defied odds, excelled in their field or stand out in a positive way.

"We know our experience as non-hijab women is not the same as a woman walking through America being visibly Muslim, so one thing we want to highlight is we're not representatives of anyone but ourselves as individuals. We are creating a platform so that other people can represent themselves and tell their story."

Dearborn has the largest Arab Muslim population in the country. Rima and Yasmeen say they aren't looking to romanticize issues that the Arab Muslim community faces - but come at the conversations with an open mind and heart.

"We have this rule that to come on this show, you are allowed to talk about the community and you are allowed to criticize things that are happening, but you have to have ideas and reasons why you are saying these things and back it up."

Dearborn Girl is recorded on the ground floor of Detroit's Foundation Hotel - launched this May. It is a passion project that will soon expand to a docu-series showing the diversity of a Dearborn woman, who comes from all walks of life.

"I want people to start questioning what the norms are," Rima said. "And I also want women in our community to inspire each other and see the value in each other and recognize how amazing all of us are."

Episodes are released on YouTube, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher and the team is on Instagram @dearborn.girl and Facebook.