By Ayah Teama
I am 24 years old. I am from Egypt but now I live in the U.S. I am a born Muslim. When I was young, my father sent me to an Islamic school where I was taught Islamic teachings in addition to the regular classes. I started wearing Hijab as a part of the school uniform from the 1st grade and by puberty, I wore it everywhere. I can’t remember anyone asking me whether I really wanted to wear Hijab or not. I had never thought about it before. Since I came here to the U.S, a year ago, I started to question myself. Did really want to wear Hijab? I used to think if it was for my father, my culture or traditions I’m wearing it. Then I was here alone, in a new place and no one knew who I was so I could do whatever I wanted to. And to take care of the image in front of my own family and people, I wouldn’t share anything online.
But to my own surprise, I really wanted to keep the hijab for the rest of my life. Though I wasn’t asked of my opinion years before when I started wearing it, but I was not forced to wear it either. Hijab makes sense for girls. I believe this is how Allah created us. Hijab is modesty and virtue.
My Hijab has always given people a chance to know the real me regardless of my beauty or my color. I am not judged by my body or shape. Instead I am judged by my personality, mentality, character, and humanity. For me, this is absolute fairness.
In the U.S., the country of “freedom”, my Hijab forced everyone to respect me and no one dared to ask me to dance, to drink, or have sex. Why? Because Hijab is a crown on my head. I feel like a real queen among my colleagues here. Accordingly, I behave within the frame my Hijab and to meet people’s high expectations. My Hijab protects me greatly from committing sins if Satan tries to make me forget that Allah is everywhere (by His divine knowledge).