I have known Samira but I fondly called her Sam way back in 1998 when I was a delegate to the National Youth Parliament representing my province. That was when the parliament was in Baguio City and she was from the First NYP and I, on the 2nd NYP. What captivated me of Sam was her strong leadership on women’s issues most specially on Muslim women in Mindanao and of course, her staunch support for a re-invigorated Islamic finance in the Philippines, being a member of the board of the Amanah Islamic Bank of the Philippines. She is a commercial model for Modess and Marie Claire.
Sam as we crossed path since 1998 has grown up immensely influential among leaders in Mindanao and became more influential on women’s issues as well as the peace process. She remains very humble and carefree. She still finds her way in her native Marawi City and greatly influence how leaders there walk their talk. She delivers talks and inspires other women as well as men for her belief in the future of Mindanao, the Moro young professionals and her undying belief in the peace process.
As someone who hails from a well-to-do family, Sam could have been played the role of a Princess locked up in her room all day with nothing much to do but think of how life can be, but Samira is a worker, an inspirer, a writer and a visionary. She is the woman whose dynamism far exceeds that of her contemporary women elsewhere. She has even staged a fashion show featuring traditional Muslim dresses to promote Muslim way of life and culture. She remains to be involved in so many issues in Mindanao and in the country and yes, many women can learn more of her substance, journey in life and her humility.