I was 26 when I decided to wear hijab, a year after I became a Muslim.
When I first put it on, it was for the wrong reasons. I wore it after I got married and moved to Egypt.
I wore it because most of the women I knew at that time wore it, and I was worried about what people would think if I didn’t.
I had no knowledge of why I had to wear it from an Islamic point of view.
I wore it to fit in. As a result, I did not love it, and it took me a long time to realize the importance of it.
I struggled with my identity. I wore hijab in the beginning, trying to do the whole “Muslim lady” look.
I realized later that I was trying to do the whole “Egyptian culture” look, and I wasn’t happy.
I finally came into my own when I started wearing the clothes I was comfortable in. I mean, clothes that were my style but still modest and still acceptable as a hijabi woman. I was finally happy with myself in hijab.
Wearing hijab is very easy in a country where the majority of people are Muslims.
No one is going to give you strange looks. No one is going to have any prejudice against you.
No one really cares one way or the other. It is normal to them.
However, when you move to a Western country, where hijab is not commonly worn, it is a different story, especially at this age when Islamophobia is always on the rise and hijabis are the target.
Moving to Canada
In 2018, we moved to Canada. I was very worried in the beginning because of the incessant reports of anti-Muslim incidents happening in Canada at the time.
The Quebec mosque shooting was the most prominent.
I wasn’t sure how people would react to a Muslim woman wearing hijab.
To top it all, we were not moving to a city, but rather, we were moving to a small town in the smallest province of Canada, where I was sure a lot of people hadn’t come across Muslims in their lives, let alone known anything about Islam..
So I had a preconceived idea that I would be the target of some Islamophobic abuse.
I was actually very wrong, alhamdulillah. When we arrived in our new town, we were very surprised to see many Muslims already living there happily.
Many had come from Syria because of Canada’s refugee program.
However, there were also many Muslims from different parts of the world, including Egypt. In fact, the Egyptian community is quite large.
I was pleasantly surprised because the vast majority of people were friendly.
I have never suffered any abuse, though I have had some stares, most out of curiosity, in addition to a couple of unpleasant stares.
However, in general, nothing has made me afraid.Pages: 1 2