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Monday, May 21, 2007

Back in the Day

I found an article I wrote for my high school magazine. The date on the front of the magazine is May 1993, exactly 15 years ago. And I was 15 when I wrote it. I was writing about wearing the headscarf, explaining it. Reading it now, with a new perspective, I would say I was a little self-righteous, judgemental, in denial, and overly sentimental. But I was also very mature, if I do say so myself ;-) If I have time, I'll be able to present the exact text here on the blog.

I also remember back then being part of a girl's youth group in which I gave a presentation on the importance and significane of hijab/headscarf. I also remember being told by one of the other members that if a man sees just one hair on your head, then that's very very bad. And I remember telling my friend that I did not want to go to the ice cream place with the group because it would bother me when the girls who did not always wear the headscarf would take theirs off in the store.

And I rememeber going to school every day and being laughed at, talked down to, and even physically harassed (objects thrown at me, people literally breathing down my neck).

But I also remember carrying "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" in my pocket and someone telling me I was cool. And several of the African American kids would say "As-salam-o-alaykum" to me in the hall. And one of the African American teachers was extra nice to me, even hugging me once.

My friend and I had both started wearing the headscarf at the same time at the same school. I remember starting to cry when I told her I could not bear to wear the scarf anymore. She put her arm around me and said it was okay. She kept on wearing the scarf at school. She was a lot stronger than me, the type that flipped off the big dudes who yelled at us as we drove home from school. Funny thing, she currently doesn't wear the headscarf, but she says maybe someday soon she'll wear it again.

Well it's wedding season nowadays. I'm looking forward to trying out my new headscarves at the dress-up parties. As a side note, in some cultures like mine (Pakistani) there is sometimes an "issue" with a single woman wearing a headscarf. Families with sons looking for wives sometimes frown on the idea of the headscarf, so the girls do not get as many "proposals." It's not always the case, in fact, sometimes it's the opposite with families wanting a hijabi girl only for their son. It's not a big deal. Just thought I'd mention it.

Ok, anyway, be back later. InshaaAllah (If God wills it).


K said...

I saw a woman at the Northeast mall today with a headscarf on and thought of you. I tried to smile at her, but she didn't look my way.

Funny how I now notice, huh?

Scarf Ace said...

that is great, k! it really warms my heart...thanks for sharing ;-)

-scarf ace