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1753Ginella Massa, a Toronto television journalist, is believed to be Canada’s first anchor to wear a Muslim head scarf at during one of the city’s major news broadcasts.

Massa was asked to fill in at the anchor’s desk for CityNews’ 11pm broadcast last week. She created a buss after the broadcast ended, tweeting “That’s a wrap! Tonight wasn’t just important for me. I don’t think a woman in hijab has ever anchored a newscast in Canada.”

Massa says she credits her colleagues at CityNews for helping her flourish. She is proud that she has been able to “break the mold” for Muslim journalist in Canada. However, she had not even realized she made such a large splash in history until an editor pointed it out to her.

“It wasn’t until my editor said, ‘Hey, great job! Was that a first for Canada? A woman in a hijab?’ … as much as I knew it was important, I didn’t expect the reaction that I received. My phone hasn’t stopped buzzing for the last week,” Massa said.

The response to her first segment in front of the camera has been “overwhelmingly positive,” she told The Huffington Post in an email. Still, nasty comments are difficult to escape.

“I think in Canada we are sometimes a little smug because we are such a multicultural and accepting country, we often like to act like we don’t have to worry about hatred and racism here, but it does exist,” she said.

“[The negative comments] tell me that I need to continue what I’m doing because for some this may be the only interaction they ever have with a Muslim woman in hijab, and maybe it will change their perception about who we are and what we can do.”

In general, however, the comments regarding Massa have been incredibly supportive. For those who missed her, she will be in the anchor seat again in the upcoming months again showing off her hijab.

Messa also shared a message of support for other Muslim women. She exclaimed, “How you’re dressed shouldn’t define whether or not you can succeed. I’m really excited to be the first hijabi to anchor the news, but I certainly hope I’m not the last.”

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