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For the love of Mary and hymn: Muslim singer perks up ears

Dalia Ihab Younis shrugs off critics who find it odd or somehow unacceptable that a Muslim woman in a hijab sings hymns venerating the Virgin Mary.

“I am not only a hymn singer,” said Dalia Ihab Younis. “Singing hymns is only part of what I do, not my entire musical career.”

It is singing hymns, however, that brought this veiled young woman into the spotlight last Christmas when a program on the Extra News Channel broadcast her voice across the airwaves and onto social media. The image of a veiled Muslim woman singing “Ave Maria” naturally sparked debate. Younis is not unhappy with her newfound fame, but it irritates her that it has typecast her as a “morannema” (hymn singer).

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