Last year, CL contributor Lara Americo debuted her photo series "Trans & Queer in the Workplace" in Creative Loafing between August and December. The series was eventually picked up by Huffington Post and served as the basis for Americo's Chrysalis exhibit at C3 Lab. This year, Americo has decided to highlight another marginalized and misunderstood population, the local Muslim population. Every other week, we will be running a photo and some insights from another Muslim Charlottean, as they discuss their work, personal lives and the judgement they often live with.
Saad Haq, 38, lives with his family in Charlotte. In December 2015, he launched Muslim Storytellers, a podcast aimed at telling the stories of everyday Muslims.
“The goal is to take back control of the narrative by telling their own stories ... It seems like our stories are being hijacked by the media and even in TV and movies where we’re being depicted as negative characters or villans where Muslims are not these villains or bad guys. We just want to blend in to society like everybody else is trying to do.
"Fortunately, I haven’t faced any direct acts of Islamophobia but my wife and my daughter have. When we were going to Charleston for vacation we stopped at a gas station to get gas and go to the bathroom. I was waiting in the car with the kids while my wife was coming out, she came to the car and she told me there was a guy in there who told her to go back to her country — to where she came from. This is why I wanted to do Muslim Storytellers, so that I have an outlet, and I can also provide people an outlet where they can use their voice to make a change, to be a positive influence on others.”