Speak Arabic, they cajoled. Speak your mother tongue: Once it flows, it will flow like the sweetest honey.
A few years ago, I was having lunch with a friend and was sharing what it felt like to keep my secret from my family. I felt guilt at hurting our relationships and the distance it created, I felt fear that they wouldn't want to associate with me, and I was constantly in hiding. I imagined … Continue reading On acceptance
In hijab, you can't really hide. You become used to being seen, noticed, judged, or even gawked at. More than ever, it's become an act of courage in the face of hate.
"You're free now." "You're liberated!" Statements like this make me cringe, however well intentioned. This is because of the misconception that most woman who wear hijab are oppressed and don't experience freedom. It's also because I feel torn--- I want to explain my decision without putting down my religion or the many beautiful people in my life who choose to wear hijab, while also being true to what pushed me away. I believe it's possible to begin that conversation.
It was a sweaty summer night in Brooklyn, but as I walked home the winds lifted my hair and offered a respite from the heat. As wavy strands lifted off of my neck and even into my eyes, I grinned.
At the time of writing the article, I had a limited idea of what my future would look like. I never imagined that just a year or so later, I would pick up the mirror holding my image and drop it to the ground. That day, I had decided that I wanted to explore life without hijab.
While packing, I texted her and asked her if there was anything I could do to make everyone more comfortable with my new changes, since this would be my first visit to her post-hijab. I held my breath, not sure what to expect.