The hijab is my choice


Satvika Ramanathan

The hijab is a piece of clothing with meaning and choice.

Noor Awwad

There are all types of hijabis from ethnicity to race. Each of us wears the hijab differently and while we might explain why we wear it in a different way, we can all agree that it is for dignity. As a Muslim Arab American, I grew up around the hijab my whole life. When I reached the age that I thought was appropriate, I decided to wear one. To make it clear, I chose to wear the hijab. I had people come up to me and ask me if I chose to wear it, or tell me that I am in America and I don’t need to wear it anymore. But out of all my life choices, the hijab is the best decision I made. 

Senator Fatima Payman of Australia mentioned in a speech on ABC News (Australia) that a few years ago an anti-muslim senator pulled a stunt removing the hijab and showing people that the hijab meant danger, but in Senator Payman’s speech, she wanted to make people aware that the hijab was her choice and is like a shield of power to her.

  “It was very important for me to raise the point to say that it’s not a sign of oppression, it hasn’t been forced on me,” Payman said.

My sister Raghad Awwad is 18 and has been a hijabi for four years. She explained that the hijab is a piece of clothing but with meaning and choice, and that the hijab keeps your beauty private following religious guidelines. 

“I happily chose to wear the hijab and I like the way I look with and without the hijab, but when I am out in public I want to cover myself up because that’s the way I like it,” she said. 

My mom Taghreed Awwad was 15 years old when she chose to cover up. This age felt appropriate to her because she felt like a young woman. She grew up in a Muslim-based village where the hijab was very popular. She loved the idea of wearing the hijab. As she grew older she loved the hijab more.

“I already had a lot of courage as a young woman but wearing the hijab added more courage, and I always found it fun to match my hijab to my outfit,” Awwad said.

Junior Safiyah Abdussabur explained that the hijab is a beautiful thing to be proud of. Her perspective of the hijab is that it is a reminder of her faith and modesty in both appearance and behavior.

“A woman in a hijab is like a pearl in its shell,” Abdussabar said.