I’m Aminata Diallo, business owner.
They’re waiting outside at the front door,
smoking their cigarettes. One is older than me, another one is physically bigger, and the last, perhaps, is a father. In the small area where they spend their break time, I walk across them, smiling, giving them a simple ‘Hello’.
Islam schedules my daily life and meetings schedule theirs. They get up in the morning with ‘closing as many deals
as they can’ as first goal in their mind; I get up in the morning with the purpose of serving Allah. Two different ways of thinking, however, we are linked. We work together.
I am French originally from Mali. I was born and I grew up in the suburbs of Paris. After my university degree, I
began to travel and live in different countries until I met the man who would later become my business partner. After almost two years of partnership, I took the company under my leadership. Today, I run the business on my own. I negotiate online advertising spaces in various markets. To cope up with this very demanding business, I hired few
Between prayers and lunches …
I purposely chose offices close to my home. This allows me to fit my working hours with the prayer times. When lunch time rings, my employees rush to the restaurants or outside
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to eat their sandwiches. I just go home or take the path towards the mosque: it’s time for Dhur (Islamic name for the lunch time prayer). Friday afternoons are off for everyone. I close the company at a specific time to devote myself to the Friday prayer. It is a rhythm that works and that my employees appreciate.
Our differences get a long together very well
I’m not sure if being Muslim rather frightens people or if it generates admiration and respect. But it is clear that being one enhances my relationship with my employees. Curiosity leads them to ask me questions, not necessarily to learn more about Islam, but to get to know each others better, in order to pay attention to our differences. If anyone orders pizza for the others, they will remember that they need to add an extra pizza with tuna for me and wait for my return from the prayer for us to eat together.
I try to convey the right values of my religion
Islam promotes human values such as compassion, respect for others, discussion rather than conflict, patience and perseverance in difficulty, and mutual help …
It is a way for me to convey a more tolerant, positive and intelligent image of Islam than the one seen on TV. Through this, I hope that when a media design Islam as the cause of the stupidity of some people, my employees will respond. Deep inside, I hope that they will protest that what the media are spreading about Islam is a wrong. They know it, because, they have closely lived alongside with the values of Islam.
To those who will come with critics, judgment and accusation …
Either my project today is successful or not, whatever. I married my ambition with my belief. I’ve escalated the ranks of society with hard-work and prayers. I make people live and perhaps even their families. So, in times of crisis who will dare say something?