Patterned Pashmina




My very first patterned pashmina hijab!

So, since summer is approaching, I’ve been trying to find easier ways to wrap my hijab without requiring the hassle of putting pins everywhere to keep it in place. And, I found the easiest and best way ( at least for me) to wrap my veil without having it on too tight and, at the same time, not having it fall apart when I move. I’ll be posting a video soon on how to wrap the pashmina hijab the way I have it here, and it is so simple.

I bought this print pashmina hijab from Egypt, but I know so many hijab stores sell very similar patterned pashmina hijabs. I normally never wear printed hijabs, but I decided to give it a try. So if you’re like me and don’t like to wear anything but solid hijabs, you might find that printed hijabs aren’t so bad–give them a try.

When I was doing some searching for hijab materials, I came across this wonderful inspirational hijab site–Pearl Daisy–that sells so many beautiful hijabs with amazing styles I’ve never seen before; they sell a variety of gorgeous printed pashmina hijabs, so I’ll definitely be trying out some of their hijabs.

What Has This World Reached?

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Youmna Eladma, 19 years old.

She started wearing Hijab at the end of July of last year. “I loved wearing it because putting on hijab was my own personal choice,” 19-year old Youmna Eladma said. She was working at Aldo’s Accessories at the time when her manager gave her notions that she wasn’t accepting of her veil. “I told her that I was going to start wearing it before-hand and she said, ‘are you going to be wearing it everyday?’ So I said, ‘yes’,  so she answered nonchalantly, “Oh okay.'” But the first day Youmna went to work with her hair concealed under her light pink hijab, her manager took her to the side and told her that she should either “take it off” or she will no longer permit her to work because “it offends the customers.” Shocked and hurt by the spiteful remark, Youmna walked away to continue her job. Ironically, people were acting natural with Youmna and she had especially made much more sales that day. “I got so many compliments on it and the customers were so nice to me,” she said. A few days went by and Youmna started noticing that she stopped receiving hours for work. Emotionally distressed from the treatment she received, Youmna eventually “just quit” because she knew that her manager was really serious about not wanting her to work there anymore.

When the fall semester began, she attended Brooklyn College as a freshman. One day after finishing her last class of the day and walking to her car, she heard shouting from behind her, “go back to your country, what the F*** is that you wearing on your head,” they said. She remembered hearing stories in the media about other hijabies getting harassed and even killed for being recognized as Muslims, but it never occurred to her at any instance that she could be the one to experience any of that.  She couldn’t tell who they were because she was too afraid to look back and, instead, kept walking to reach her car. Paranoid from the racist remarks, she quickened her pace before she was pushed to the ground and stripped of her hijab. She laid on the ground in utter disbelief and shock as they ran off laughing. “I was too afraid to even look back. I don’t even know how these people looked like, I knew I was never going to feel safe again.” The next day at college, Youmna took off her hijab. She was much too paranoid and afraid to deal with ignorant peoples’ slanders. “I felt so weak and I just couldn’t take the pressure. I wished these people would see me for who I am,” she said.

It was not long before Youmna put her hijab back on. “I hated not wearing it. I hated that I allowed these ignorant people win for a moment. And I hated not being able to be me because of other people, so I put my hijab back on to never take it off again,” she said with a smile that brightened her face.

“I’ve learned that there is still a lot of discrimination in the world, especially against Muslims and whether I like it or not, these things will come my way and I have to accept them. I do hope one day that everyone sees that hijab is a form of expression and as long as it doesn’t harm anyone, there is no reason for anyone to judge me just on my appearance,” Youmna said.

Q & A

Interview with graduate student, Lisa Jaradat. 

Q: What inspired you to start wearing hijab?

 A: My friend Sherry inspired me. One day she sat me down and told me that I was a good person and that I was doing a lot of good deeds but many were going to waste because I was like a candle that provides light for  others but burns itself. She told me to just try it for one day and I did. I never took it off since, I love it.
Islam advises its followers to have higher morals and values as compared to the degenerate levels of morality found in society today. As generations pass, it seems like our society is growing backwards. Cave men were barely clothed and strived to cover themselves with leaves. Now, civil humans are striving to be naked. So this is backwards. People who say hijab is something that is backwards or from the stone age or medieval, are wrong; it is an advancement for women and society. Modesty is progressive.
What inspired me to take this decision was to follow the Wajib. The simple question was why not ? Do I love my lord more than my hair? No. Why risk upsetting my lord and go against the Islamic teaching to simply fit in a society who truly will never accept me for who I am because women are objectified and characterized by looks. How could I advocate for Islam if I didn’t fit the description– being a hijabi, people know me for who I actually am; it’s empowering.
Q: How would you identify what hijab means to you?

A: Its my shield; this shield only reveals my heart & makes it visible to humans eyes.The hijab is my blessing and it’s the answer to my prayers.

Q: Was the transition difficult for you, especially because you started wearing it at an older age?

A: Of course it was difficult, it’s my hair.  I love my hair. Hair is the best accessory a lady has. I started wearing the hijab at 22 and I am 26 now. Had I waited longer, I probably would have never worn it. I got attached to my reflection in the mirror with my hair out. It may sound silly but I had to let go of the idea of my hair making me beautiful because it’s me who is beautiful. So, regardless of what I am wearing, my inner beauty always shines and is radiant because my glow comes from deep with in.

Her Struggle

fatmaAt age 14, Fatma Ismail, decided to start wearing hijab. Now 17 years old, and a current senior attending New Dorp high school, she “had quite an experience” wearing a veil, but doesn’t “regret one bit of it.” Both her best friend and mom were the reason why she was motivated to wear hijab. “They are the closest people to me and they showed me the right way to my religion,” she said smiling.

Fatma wore her hijab because she chose to and because it is part of her religion. “This is a way of me pleasing Allah because it’s mandated in our religion to be dressed modestly.”

Everyone can chose what they decide to wear every day for modesty, but Muslim women who decide to wear hijab follow what God has commanded them to wear for modesty. When people asked Fatma why she wears hijab, her response to them was, “my love for my religion means everything to me.”

Those responses were not enough for some people. She faced negativity in her past for wearing hijab. “During my freshmen year of high school, I felt like people weren’t accepting me with my hijab,” she said. “People tried to bring me down by trying to take off my scarf.” She explains how at one point she struggled so hard to keep her faith, but eventually learned to accept that there will always be “some people in life that will try to bring you down and there is nothing you can do about it.” Her four years of experience made her stronger because she no longer cares about the negativity that people have to say about hijab.

“I have more positive feedback from people now because I wear it with more confidence.” Fatma’s peers at my school are more accepting towards her wearing hijab. More people are fascinated with her hijab and continuously compliment her style and hijabi look. “It makes me so happy to know that people accept me for who I am and for my religion.”

An Inspired Hijabi Tells Her Story

toka 219-year-old Hunter student, Toka Shalan, tells her story of what inspired her to wear hijab. Her transition to wearing hijab was easy because she grew up in Bay Ridge and attended Al-Noor, a private Islamic school.  She was surrounded by many Muslim women; some of them were her mother’s friends while the majority of them were high school friends. “I fell in love with the way they looked using different color scarves as well as different ways of wrapping it around their head,” she said. “It amazed me how they would walk down the streets of New York confidently wearing their headscarves and letting people define and respect their identity as that of a Muslim woman.”  She explains that was her inspiration of putting on her hijab. “It has become a part of me and a part of what I am identified as in society, as an Egyptian-American Muslim woman.”

Throughout her nine years of wearing hijab, Toka witnessed first-hand racism and discrimination. “One day, as I was walking with a classmate who wore the Niqab (A veil worn by some Muslim women in public, covering all of the face apart from the eyes) near my high school, two teenage boys came from behind us, pulled on our headscarf from the back and ran away laughing,” she said. “There would also be days where I would be walking home alone or with friends and people would tell us to ‘Go back to where we came from’ or ‘Take that thing off your head! Don’t let them oppress you!’

She ignored these hate remarks and continued to wear the hijab that “liberates” her. Ayesha Nusrat, a 23-year-old Muslim Indian from New Delhi published a similar story in the New York Times. 

Even though Muslim women are still discrimination against for wearing hijab today, many others respect and admire the fact that they cover. “In college I’d receive compliments about how pretty my scarf looked and how they thought it was pretty cool that my scarf would always match what I would wear.”

Toka said her greatest experience wearing hijab is when curious people approach her  and wonder why she  wears hijab. The people’s wonder give her a reason to believe that not only is she approachable, but she can also express to them the sense of freedom she feels while wearing hijab. “Some of my friends even tried the Hijab on just to see how it would look on them and they’d walk down hallways or streets just to see how others would see them or treat them.” Toka said that when her friends put on the hijab for a day it changed their perceptions and ideas about women who veil. Some of the girls who experienced putting on hijab said it made them more noticeable in a crowd, but felt nothing of oppression like some people assume. They had made the choice of putting it on simply because they wanted to know how it felt and realized that veiling was a form of expression.


My Story

It happened at summer camp of 2003; that was 10 years ago. My first year of middle school–that’s when I decided to put on my hijab. I remember my mom had traveled to Egypt that summer to visit her family, and when I went to pick her up from the airport with my dad, her jaws dropped in shock when she realized I had wrapped a scarf around my head to conceal my long hair from the rest of the world (well, except my family and females, that is). I was only ten years old and still just a little girl–my mom wondered how I could possibly be sure of making a life-changing decision at such a time. I remember her asking me “what made you decide to wear hijab?” and I said, “I saw all the rest of the older girls wearing it at camp, and I want to be just like them.” She looked at me and smiled and told me that if I ever changed my mind, that it would be okay. I didn’t change my mind though, because ten years later, I’m a junior in college and still wear my hijab with honor.

Well, that’s my story. A simple motivation and faith led me to wear my hijab. I try to dress fashionably yet with modesty and, honestly, there’s hundreds of ways a woman can wear her hijab. It is a matter of finding what is suitable for you. I’ve tried wrapping my scarf several times in different ways before I realized that one of the most simple ways is what suits me best. I take a square hijab and fold it into a triangle and wrap it around my head, and it only takes a few minutes. This style is referred to as the turkish-hijab .