Podcaster Uzma Jafri’s Favorite Creators of 2023

To get the best view of the year possible, Fann reached out to industry experts, asking them about the trailblazers and notable projects in their respective creative fields.

Podcaster Uzma Jafri’s Favorite Creators of 2023

As 2023 comes to a close, Fann is reflecting on the Muslim creators and art that defined the year. It’s been a remarkable year for Muslim creatives: the first Muslim American rom-com made by Muslim American women saw its worldwide release; a musical inspired by a Bollywood classic captivated U.S. audiences; an action movie starring Muslim sisters broke barriers; creative communities came together to support each other through unprecedented hardship. From music to books to art to television to podcasts to everything in between, Muslims have been defining art and pop culture in 2023.

To get the best view of the year possible, Fann reached out to industry experts, asking them about the trailblazers and notable projects in their respective creative fields. These experts were asked not to limit themselves to works that came out this year, instead focusing on any art that defined 2023 for them.

In the words of industry leaders, these are the Muslim creators and art that made 2023 memorable.

Fann’s End-of-Year Wrap-Up is an ongoing series celebrating the end of 2023. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.


Who are you?

Uzma Jafri, co-host of the podcast “Mommying While Muslim.”

Who is one fellow Muslim creator in your industry who you admired this year?

Rabia Chaudhry and Ellyn Marsh.

Tell us more about why you like the creator above.

This duo's true crime podcast “Rabia and Ellyn Solve the Case” is a deep dive [combining information from] laypeople and some experts on some of the most popular unsolved [and] heinous crimes we've learned to know about — or have we? There are certain cases they cover together with guests that leave us questioning what we ever thought about a crime or a suspect, and it does us a lot of good to recall that everyone is still human, sometimes regardless of the things they do.

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What is one piece of work related to Muslim characters and/or creators within your industry that you enjoyed this year?

We happen to be very proud of our own Uyghur mom series on “Mommying While Muslim,” which aired in Jan. 2023.

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A post shared by Mommying While Muslim (@mommyingwhilemuslimpodcast)

Tell us more about why you like the work above.

Highlighting the plight of Uyghur moms through their own words hopefully helps humanize them. Their narratives aren't often known except through news channels, [which] filters out their choices of words for what's happened to them. The mom we focused on in every January episode got to tell our audience about her life and how it unraveled under ethnic cleansing, and the repercussions on her and her children to this day. Out of her mouth, it just rings truer and more urgently.

Any other Muslim art you enjoyed this year?

Bassem Youssef — his tour is going to change how Muslims and Arabs are perceived for a long time coming. Not fast enough, but it's coming.

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