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“I am Muslim, different, beautiful, Strong”

By Lina abojaradeh (Palestine)

I grew up with a mother
who wore a piece of cloth
over her hair.
It was just another part of her,
like her gentle blue eyes
and morning prayers.

But as I became older
The childhood filter faded away
and I heard what people would say,
and wouldn’t say.

5-letter insults were not as bad as the sharp stares
that shredded the pride I had for my mother.
But the questions aimed at her
-rarely inquisitive
and mostly insensitive-
haunted me everywhere.

‘Do you ever wash your hair?’
‘Are you bald?’
“Do you have a bomb under there?
‘Do you sleep with that on?”
“CAN YOU HEAR OKAY UNDER THERE?”

I began to detest
that piece of cloth
that labeled us as ‘oppressed’
and screamed- never whispered-
that we were different, odd,
Wrong.

Now, I am proud
of this piece of cloth
that has enough heart and bravery
to defy society’s conception of beauty
to declare the existence of modesty
and to scream- not whisper-
I am Muslim,
different, beautiful,
Strong.

 

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More on author: www.facebook.com/linaabojaradehart

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4 comments

  1. Beautiful and powerful

  2. Allahu Akbar! Ya Allah… Hijabists are very “different, beautiful & strong…” I love the “piece of cloth” on my head.

  3. Nice verses. The strength and power that shines from it, reminds me of the Halal Monk conversation with hijab designer Fatima Rafiy about ‘Halal fashion’ in which she says: “I wear the scarf out of love for my religion and to step into the footsteps of the strong women in our tradition, like Khadija, the first wife of Muhammad. She had her own business as well. I think that’s wonderful. She was one of the first women in history that we know to be a businesswoman. And with only men working under her!”

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