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Behind the Scarf (Hijab)

As I mentioned in previous post, I’m interested in the hijab and why some women who are Muslim choose to wear it. I want to be very clear that my intention is not to offend any religion or to point fingers. My intention is to portray real people sharing their own story….
When I walk around the streets of London I see a lot of women wearing their scarf around their head with pride, they live in democratic countries and they choose to wear it anyway...I want to know their story, I want to understand….
I believe in people choosing to believe, wear, live in the way that is best for them. Happy individuals will create better societies. Maybe we need to respect our differences, perhaps we need to focus in our similarities rather than our differences, perhaps we should  start opening our hearts and minds, perhaps we should stop pointing fingers at each others, perhaps we should listen the story behind, perhaps we might find that we are not as different as we think.

Today I would like to share Malak story. I met her online and I was very impressed with her maturity even though she is really young...
One day she was attacked by a man who tried to remove his hijab in public and that day changed her life. She realized that people there saw her as a representative of Muslims in general and because of that, she decided to be better and started volunteering at local libraries, homeless shelters and churches. She decided to show people what Muslims were through her actions, she also started doing public speaking at different schools and universities then she got involved in politics, where she was asked to be a board member of West Virginia's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, where she'll be the youngest and first Muslim member. 

This is what she said:

In the summer of 2005, I had gone on a family vacation to Jordan. My family would travel there approximately every 4 years to visit my grandparents and extended family. As a young girl, I had been very vain and concerned about my looks, especially my hair. Anytime I would pass a mirror or anything reflective, I would stop and look at myself, sometimes in admiration and sometimes in a critical manner. At that age, covering my hair was never an option. I live in a town that is predominately white and Christian; Being an Arabic women, I already stood out. The very last thing I had wanted was to stand out even more. 
So, one day while in Jordan, my mom took me out shopping. While we were out, I kept seeing girls my age and younger wearing hijabs. That was when I started to realize how vain I was and it really struck a chord with me. It was then that I realized how low my self-esteem was and how much I depended on my looks. I was so disappointed in myself. So, it was then that I asked my mom to buy me a couple hijabs. 
When we returned back to the states, I would occasionally put on a hijab as a test-trial. Finally, I became a full-fledged hijabi when I started school that following month. 
When I look back at my hijabi journey, I honestly believe that I still wasn't mentally prepared to cover my hair. However, I am glad that started when I did, because it gave me the self confidence that I lacked. Although you can easily pick me out of a crown here, I would not trade it for the world. Deciding to wear the hijab has been the best and most rewarding decision I have ever made.  

4 comentarios:

  1. I admire your investigation of looking at the reasons behind why Muslim girls cover up, but this story is tragic.

    It is EXACTLY why free-thinking people will NEVER advocate the covering of heads and faces. This poor girl is at a young and vulnerable point in her life- and she is making a huge decision- to separate herself from society via a 'religious garment'. Whilst she may not be covering for religious reasons it's terrifying that she is seeking to punish herself for so-called vanity.

    It is NOT vain to concern yourself with your appearance- it's NORMAL.
    Hair is not naturally lascivious- it is a NORMAL human occurence.

    How can any girl 'choose' to wear a garment that is used as a weapon of oppression against her sisters across the Middle East and Africa? Women are lashed, beaten, stoned and thrown in prison if they don't wear it.

    Just last week a girl was beheaded in Saudi Arabia for a crime she did not commit.
    Two other girls were arrested for having the temerity to drive.

    The hijab, the headscarf, the burqua all repress women.
    If it is so desirable to cover ones head (and face) in Islam why don't men do it?

    Because the religion is sexist.

    Every Muslim girl who is lucky enough to live in a free country should fight the oppression of this garment with all her might.

    1. Freedom means being given the choice to wear the scarf. I have Muslim friends who wear it and those who don't.

  2. I really don´t know how to say it in english but you leave me with hen skin.
    I agree with everything that you posted. Thanks for sharing!
    Love from pazhalabirodriguez.com ♡


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