The Hijabi Monologues Are Coming!

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Woman wearing a hijab

A hijabi is a term for a Muslim woman who wears the hijab, or headscarf. I believe that it is important to see the women beneath the headscarves and “The Hijabi Monologues” are one way to accomplish that.

The following announcement only applies to the Columbus, Ohio performances in April but I’m including it here because that’s where I’m from and because I wanted to alert my readers to the existence of “The Hijabi Monologues.” If you want to know more about “The Hijabi Monologues”—maybe even bring them to your area—see the information below.

ANNOUNCEMENT

Try-outs are being held on March 31, 2010 at the Ohio State University for performers to participate in “The Hijabi Monologues.” There is also a need for organizers, writers, photographers and so on. (See full list of positions available here.) Please note: You do not need to be Muslim to participate!

What are “The Hijabi Monologues”? They are a take-off on Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.” The difference between them is that “The Vagina Monologues” takes something private and makes it public and “The Hijabi Monologues” take something public (the hijabs, or headcoverings) and show us the private lives of the women who wear them.

Go to the OSU website for more information about the Columbus, Ohio performances as well as links to other performances which have taken place elsewhere. Any questions or concerns should sent to the email address: HijabiMonologues.OSU@gmail.com

To RSVP go the the Hijabi Monologues at OSU page on Facebook. For more information about the Monologues themselves, there is another Facebook page here.

The video below is an interview with some of the people involved in “The Hijabi Monologues.”

Women’s Rights: The Headscarf (Hijab)

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An example of hijab dress.
An example of a hijab.

There are many people out there who will think I’m crazy for saying that the wearing of a headscarf (or hijab) is a woman’s right. That’s because Western society views Muslim women as oppressed and the hijab as a symbol of their oppression.  We assume that the only reason women wear the hijab is because their men require them to and that they will discard them as soon as they’re liberated.

While I don’t doubt that there are some Muslim women who dress the way they do solely because of the requirements of their culture, who would prefer to not wear the hijab, I believe that the majority of Muslim women who wear the hijab feel quite comfortable doing so. In fact, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

When I first encountered women wearing hijabs in my job, I was curious and dubious. I wondered if they resented having to wear them and doubted that they would if they had a choice. I had always seen the head scarf as depersonalizing. I thought that it took away a woman’s right to look as attractive as she wanted to. It seemed to me that Muslim men insisted that their women cover themselves in order to keep them from being sexually enticing, as if men couldn’t control themselves if they saw a woman’s hair or the outlines of her body.

I also thought that I would never be able to tell the women apart. That reflects a prejudice on my part which I now realize is completely unfounded. The women still have faces, for God’s sakes! And their hijabs are all different, some of them really beautiful. I realize that there are Muslim societies where the women are required to wear all black and cover themselves from head to toe. (For a discussion about this click here.)  But the Muslim women I’ve gotten to know are from Libya  and are here in the States studying to be doctors. Through them, I’ve been able to see a different side of being a Muslim and a woman.

Continue reading Women’s Rights: The Headscarf (Hijab)