A Muslim woman who was recently featured in a Honey Maid commercial has some pretty awesome talents in the kitchen off-screen, too. Meet the “Honey Maid hijabi.” Her name is Nidaa Moghrabi, and she’s dubbed as “the queen of all cheesecakes.”
Baklava cheesecake, kunafa cheesecake, basbousa cheesecake, qamareldeen (apricot) cheesecake; Moghrabi makes the best of both worlds: American style cheesecake, but with a middle eastern twist.
Food has always been something that can unite people of all faiths and backgrounds, and Moghrabi’s cheesecakes are no exception, hence why her appearance in a Honey Maid commercial about acceptance was so fitting.
The cracker commercial received tons of great feedback on Facebook. As of April 13, it has three million views, has been shared 6,555 times and “liked” by 18,000 people.
The commercial features Moghrabi’s family and a neighboring family laughing and sharing dessert together.
She wrote about her experience on her business’s Facebook page, Nido’s Cheesecake:
“For a couple of reasons, I stopped posting personal pictures of my family last year, right before I started selling cheesecakes. So when we were asked if we’d like to be in a commercial, we were hesitant at first. My husband and I discussed it over and over again until we decided that our intention is what’s important. We prayed “istikhara” and signed the contracts the next day. After the crew was done with their hard work, I served them all Baklava Cheesecake in my kitchen. I still can’t believe it’s happening, it’s like I’m dreaming.”
Moghrabi sold her first cheesecake, a mango cheesecake, in December 2014, and started her business, Nido’s Cheesecake. She said the most popular cheesecake is the baklava cheesecake.
“Most of my customers are Muslims from different backgrounds and origins,” she said in an e-mail interview. “I think that the halal part of my cheesecakes is what brings them to order from me, and of course, being able to support a Muslim business owner.”
She ships her cheesecakes to customers from all over the United States.
“My Instagram and Facebook pages bring me customers from different ethnicities and religions,” she said. “The effect of social media on my business is tremendous.”
Honey Maid said in an e-mail interview that there has been positive feedback after airing the commercial.
“Since the ‘This is Wholesome’ campaign launched in 2014, the overwhelming reaction to the campaign has been positive–and we’re seeing similar positive reactions to this latest chapter,” said Katrina Plummer, equity brand manager at Honey Maid. “We continue to celebrate all wholesome families in the latest execution, and we are pleased to see that our fans recognize and embrace it.”
Plummer said the company recognizes how diverse families in the United States are. “As the ‘This Is Wholesome’ campaign evolves in 2016, Honey Maid is encouraging Americans to view the world through the eyes of acceptance, and remind ourselves that no matter how families change, what makes them wholesome remains the same,” she said.
It’s so empowering to see Muslims in mainstream commercials and advertisements, because it tells people that yes, Muslims are American, and we’re not to be feared; we’re people too. Diversity on TV, even in advertisements, is crucial, especially for younger viewers. Cultural pluralism is powerful!
At a time when so many companies fear a loss of profit over viewer sensitivities, such as Lowe’s, who pulled their ad from the TV show All-American Muslim a few years ago, Honey Maid made a bold move; hats off to Honey Maid for their brave decision.
Other companies that have included Muslims in their ads include H&M , Jeep’s Super Bowl ad, and Best Buy.