Sarah C, pictured below, started I Am Change, which is a project dedicated to the development of understanding, tolerance and acceptance among all human beings. She asked two Muslim women who live in Egypt about their experiences with or without a hijab.
“Even though my parents are a little conservative, they never really forced me to put on the hijab at any age. I respect every woman that wears the hijab by choice, and think that it can add to a woman’s beauty. I also respect women who choose not to wear it, even if it’s against the norm. I believe that a woman must have the choice to decide for herself how she wants to portray herself in society. It is sad to see that some people judge you based on what you wear. I believe that diversity in a society is important for people not to label each other when someone does not conform with the majority. I sometimes face this problem in Egypt, and I’m looked down on, because I don’t wear the hijab. Unfortunately, that is because we do not have enough diversity anymore, but I will not change myself because people don’t like how I look. I will only change when I decide I want to change, and I consider this as one of my rights as a human being.”
Nada – 23, Egypt
“I’m muslim wearing ad hijab and I chose to do so, not just because God ordered us to, but also because I want to be in this form. To be honest, it bothers me sometimes in summer when I’m wearing all those layers, but that’s the thing about faith. I mean it’s too easy to fall in love with the advantages of something or someone. Maybe I didn’t get to choose to be a Muslim but I’m so thankful for having been born into a Muslim family. I’ll try to sum it up…God loves us more than anybody does, so if he asked us to do something it would only be for our own good. For me, I love it even more when I don’t totally understand the reasons behind everything. I guess it makes it pure and dedicated only to God, not just for the heck of it.
Mona, 20, Egypt