Failing to find any books with a hijabi character for her young niece, Hudda Ibrahim from St Cloud, Minnesota, has decided to write a new book to empower young Muslim girls and normalize hijab, KARE 11 reported.
“I love to accessorize my hijab and look good,” Ibrahim said. “It really makes my day when I have a pretty hijab on and I look chic, modest and sophisticated.”
Acknowledging that her niece Fatima was learning about the joys of wearing hijab, she tried to find a book with hijabi characters for the 7-year-old girl.
“It was so difficult to find books that Fatima could relate to so I knew it was an area where I needed to study more,” she explained.
After much research, Ibrahim said she decided to write the book she thought her niece might appreciate.
The book, titled “What Color is My Hijab?” features little Tima, (Fatima likes to be called Tima). In the book, Tima ponders what color hijab she should wear for the day.
“I know someone in a white hijab, she’s an engineer. She is very smart. When I want to solve problems, I will wear a white hijab,” Ibrahim read from her copy.
“I want to help kids do that, celebrate their identities and who they are and not be afraid of wearing a headscarf,” Ibrahim said. “Just because my head is covered, doesn’t mean my brain is covered.”
Ibrahim said the book isn’t just for children.
“It’s a teaching tool, I want teachers to really use these books in their classrooms and to educate their students about the culture and something about the faith,” she said.
“It’s not talking about Islam or anything like that. It’s just about a little girl who wants to wear her hijab. Who gets inspiration from her mother, her aunts, her neighbors. I want to educate both kids and adults about the importance of diversity and embracing the hijab.”
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
The book is not the first to try to fill the void in the market.
Last July, Samira Hamana, a certified life coach from Edmonton, published her first children’s book to help children and their parents counter bullying.
In Australia, the second edition of the Muslim detective heroine series, Ayesha Dean, was officially released in May 2019 under the title ‘Seville Secret’.