Monday, 28 February 2011

Undercover in Hijab

Cassidy Herrington is a columnist in the Kentucky Kernel and last year she decided to find out what it is like to be a Muslim women and "take a walk in their shoes" by wearing the hijab for one month.

She details what the experience was like including at a Lebanese restaurant and whilst at work as a journalist:

"Responses to my hijab were subtle or nonexistent. I noticed passing glances diverted to the ground, but overall, everything felt the same. Near the end of the month, a classmate pointed out that a boy had been staring at me, much to my oblivion. The hijab became a part of me, and until I turned my head and felt a gentle tug, I forgot it was there.

For the most part, I carried out life as usual while in hijab. I rode my bike and felt the sensation of wind whipping under my headscarf. I walked past storefront windows, caught a glimpse of a foreign reflection and had to frequently remind myself that the girl was me. Hijab became part of my morning routine, and on one morning I biked to class and turned around because I realized I left without it. At the end of the day, I laughed at my “hijab hair” pressed flat against my scalp.

The hijab sometimes made me uneasy. I went to the grocery store and felt people dodge me in the aisles — or was that just my imagination?

I recognize every exchange I had and every occurrence I report may be an assumption or over analysis because few of my encounters were transparent. The truth is, however, very few of my peers said anything about the hijab. My classmates I’ve sat next to for more than a year, my professors and my friends from high school — no one addressed the obvious, and it hurt. I felt separated from the people who know me best — or so I thought
"

You can read the full account of Herrington's experience here.




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