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Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
There is something about the niqab which makes people interested in it. Either they love it, loath it, hate it, fear it, think its exotic, think its beautiful or just straight don’t care. regardless everyone is STILL fascinated with it. Often with IT-the niqab, but not HER, the woman behind the IT…because too often those who are fascinated with it, think they know HER but not IT. i.e. she who is behind the veil is obviously oppressed or obviously foreign…man, I know many sisters who wear niqab who are not foreign and whom are quite fiesty…I’m sure they are not the HER those types imagine as “women behind the burqa”.
Anyway, enough of the philosophical spewings…LOL.
I always get amused when I read these fantastically embellished “Day in niqab/burqa/veil” articles which pop up now and then. You almost never read “I wore hijab for a day and survived!” stories because well, hijab just ISNT as exotic… but niqab seems to be much more of a fun sort of experiment which will yield a juicy read.
Such as this one…
I Walked Around in a Burqa All Day. LOL…its rather a funny read. I do admire the fact that the writer at the end acknowledges that she needs to be more open minded and respectful towards people whom are different from her and I guess the fact that she did her “experiment” in NYC does temper the revelatory effect of the article. LOL. Noone called her names, no one bothered her and really no one even glanced her way! Ah the bliss of life in a major urban city in the east coast of the USA. guess what, most people don’t care. Those who do care are either from somewhere else (transplants, not born urbanites) or are tourists or just are exceedingly odd in some way. Few if anyone would have bothered her anyway.
My largest peeves with her “experiment” is that she obviously doesnt have her facts right…why would a “Saudi burqa” have 5 pieces…? I lived in Saudi and I can tell you, those who wore niqab tended to wear just 3. Abaya (head or shoulder), shaylah and niqab. Thats about it. Infact every type of niqab style Ive ever seen has just been either 2 or 3 pieces…
But it seems like she chose a very odd assortment of pieces like a butterfly abaya, a long khimar with hand slits, a scarf UNDER the khimar, a niqab and well…what else…thats 4, so where is the 5th thing and why would you wear a scarf UNDER your khimar, the khimar is your scarf. I guess someone was eager to make that dough and just told her to buy all this stuff. Oh and you CAN go to “a burqa shop” and buy one…there are many Muslim owned business which sell clothing for Muslim women and most do sell a niqab or two, some abayaat and some scarves. Steinway in Queens has several such shops…
And then she chose “touristy” things to do…to, scare tourists…LOL. Yes I know, its fun to scare tourists, esp those from small towns (I’ve done it myself…in my younger years), but most women who wear niqab are average individuals…do they-we, I, you…?… really go to tourist destinations all that much? Hey, i can stick a niqab on and go parade around the tourists at the art museum too…but I wont…cuz that wont accurately portray a day in niqab, would it? Instead id choose grocery shopping and taking a bus with it on. LOL
Also I’d have liked to have seen her get her terminology cleared up.
Anyway, overall…it was an interesting account but definitely lacking in anything really accurate or authentic. More just a easy and exciting way to find something to write about.
and then you have some ones from women who are Muslim and of Middle Eastern background or LIVE in Saudi or Pakistan writing similar stories. I admit to finding the one from the SAUDI women IN RIYADH rather funny (darnit, cant find the URL-if I do, I’ll post it!)…cuz she lives IN Riyadh where niqab is the norm for most women AND SHE IS SAUDI! rolls eyes…next.
This one is interesting too, just because she is in Germany AND Arab. An Unsual Perspective… gotta love the full on eye-brows…