Noor Tagouri is a name you need to keep on your radar. Her thought-provoking documentary series A Woman’s Job, set to launch this spring, features females working in male-dominated industries. Occupations include a female mechanic (who runs a beauty bar attached to her car shop), as well as the first and only female NFL coach. “We wanted to celebrate these trailblazing women as well as inspire younger girls to pursue their dreams,”says the Hijabi journalist. “We want to make people uncomfortable.” The show will be broadcast on Newsy, the Missouri-based video news network whose DC office Tagouri currently works at.
Born in 1993 to Libyan parents in West Virginia, the family soon moved to Maryland, where Tagouri grew up and found her passion for journalism. “I just knew that I wanted to ask questions for a living,” she recounted. Tagouri went on to study Broadcast Journalism at the University of Maryland at 16 years old, where she landed an internship at CBS radio a mere year into her studies. She credits the job as an answered prayer. The 23-year-old prayed Istikhara, an Islamic prayer recited when one needs guidance with an issue in life, about finding a job in journalism the night before landing her position.
During her time with CBS radio, Tagouri travelled the world, met influential people and set her sights on becoming the first hijabi news anchor in America. The reporter, who started wearing the hijab at 16 on a whim, initially refused to wear it because of her desire to become a television personality. Although it only helped to catapult her career, Tagouri recalls how difficult it was when she first put on the veil: “During one of my first days at local CBS tv affiliate, I overheard a group of other [male] reporters in the news room discussing how I would never get a job with ‘that thing on my head.’” Interestingly, Tagouri admits that the hijab has served as more of an advantage than a disadvantage when it comes to breaking news stories, stating, “People open up to you more; they feel like they can trust you and relate to you when you look different.”
Prior to landing her current position with Newsy, Tagouri worked on a clothing line in collaboration with Lisn Up Clothing, a charitable street style brand that teams up with notable public figures, such as hijabi Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad, singer-songwriter Yuna, and Lupe Fiasco. Dubbed “The Noor Effect,” Tagouri’s clothing collaboration consists of shirts, beanies and varsity jackets, emblazoned with the text GIRL, a nod to her strong support of women’s rights.