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"Do You Shower in That?" and Other Questions About the Hijab Answered This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I do not shower in my hijab, nor do I sleep with it. I do not have a bomb under my headscarf either; the slight bulge is my hair wrapped in a bun. Hair loss is not the reason I cover. Trust me, I have hair. Sometimes, you just have to believe in things you cannot see. I cover because I believe in modesty and it is not just my hair; the rest of my body, with the exception of my hands and face, is included. Yes, I am a Muslim (good observation). My hijab is not an on and off kind of relationship; it is a commitment. While I wear the hijab full-time now, I have not worn this headscarf my entire life. This is only my second year covering my hair and I am 16 years old.
Yes, I do speak, write, and read English fluently. I understand all those bloated, big words you say and the insults you mutter in vague whispers under your breath that you assume I cannot understand or hear. My hijab may cover my hair, but it does not cover my brain or clog my ears. So feel free to use your hoity-toity, highfalutin talk with me (in fact, I know a few big words myself). You might be afraid of me, but what scares me is the ignorance some people have. On airplanes, people sitting in the seats around me look absolutely terrified out of their wits, as if they would rather jump out of the plane now than endure a flight with me in the same aircraft across the ocean. In elevators, they sneak little looks as they take notice my scarf and hope nothing explodes between the first and second floor. If you are going to stare, at least try not to get caught.
I am a normal 16 year old girl that enjoys a hilarious joke, lime sherbet, hanging out with friends, and a good debate about Twilight. I write and read for fun, and tackle the daily struggles of a high-school student. I play tennis, watch movies and go shopping. Even though I cover my hair, I enjoy trying new products and new styles on it. Swimming is no biggie. I just use a swim cap. I want to go to college, which I am already planning for. My mother went to college, too. In fact, college is where my dad and my mom met.
My father does not wear a turban, nor does he have a beard. No, he did not beat me or force me to wear the hijab. I am not oppressed and for the record, I am allowed out of the house. I do not have any brothers. We are a family of four women and our father loves us just the same and does not feel disappointed at all that he has no sons. My father is not a tyrannical radical and he respects my mother. He consults her opinion before he does a lot of things, such as which tie she thinks looks better on him or which watch he should buy. They cook food together, cheer while watching soccer games on TV and they like to watch comedy movies.
A common introduction Americans have with my religion is through bold, capital letters that stir panic about terrorists and conspiracies. If a picture can speak a thousand words, then the images of men in turbans with guns and wailing women in black only yell out loud at the reader. Captions with words like Islamic radical, terrorists, Jihad, and Muslim extremist further inform the reader about who is the bad guy. The article finishes off with disturbing details about who bombed whom. I will tell you who was bombed: Islam was bombed by Muslim terrorists.
I am not a terrorist, nor do I agree with what the terrorists are doing. If the terrorists claim they are Muslims, they are not because Islam forbids the killing of innocent people. Innocent people should not die. Do not be afraid of me; fear the people who want to kill others. I do not hate America; I love America. I was born in America, but I also enjoy my Egyptian and Turkish heritage. I cheer for both the Egyptian and American Olympic teams. I love both pizza and rice stuffed grape leaves. Truly, it is the best of both worlds. The same goes for my hijab.
My hijab does not put me behind in anything or bother me and keep me from wearing what I want. It gives me a way to be creative and further express myself. From sparkles and embellished paisley designs, to dots and flowers, I have scarves in every color and design imaginable. I can wrap three scarves together to create a unique look and there are many different ways to wrap the hijab. As well as receiving compliments from random strangers about my headwear, I have also received disdainful stares and not so pleasant gestures. Still, I continue to wear it with pride every day. For me, it is a fashion statement that my religion gave to me.
Some people may ask if I miss feeling beautiful and if I am sad because I am not allowed to have a boyfriend. What? Whoever said I miss feeling beautiful? I feel beautiful right now! When people talk to me while I wear the hijab, it is because they take me seriously and respect my opinion. It is not attraction when a man is interested in a woman because of her body. That is his satisfaction. Wearing the hijab has not subtracted from my beauty, but actually protected it. Finally, I refuse to be an exhausted and used teenage girl who is dumped and recycled numerous times before she finds a real man that will actually respect her, a man that will love and admire the inside just as much as the outside. I am not the least bit disappointed that I will never be like that.
I realize you have questions and I do have the answers. I know that the media makes you confused and I would not blame you either. With the images you see on TV, it seems contradictory that my religion is all about peace. If there is still any confusion, just ask because I want to clear up any misunderstandings you might have. I enjoyed answering your questions. However, no, you cannot have a peek at my hair, so stop asking.




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This article has 144 comments. Post your own!

VampanezeLord13 said...
today at 10:03 am:
I think it awesnome-sauce that you, actually stood up for yourself. Most girls won't do that. You keep rocking that hijab, girl!
 
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nomistooThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 31 at 2:38 pm:
This is wonderful! I have always wanted to read about hijabs from a teenager's point-of-view. Best of luck to you and your headscarf. I'm sorry people stare and act so ignorant. 
 
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SonzaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 24 at 2:48 pm:
LOVED IT, GIRL!!! U write sooo beautifully. Its really weird how ppl dont understand other ppl. Hope this lil article ofurs helps all d ignorant ppl around here... ;)  
 
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Nadiac98This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Feb. 18 at 10:39 am:
Lovely piece, very eye opening I have a Muslim friend also and I wonder if she feels the same way as you do
 
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Missxoxox said...
Jan. 2 at 3:55 am:
Quite touching :)
 
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mereCatThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 2 at 3:03 am:
It's tragic the way that a whole culture or religion is judged by the actions of a few members. I love the line: "islam was bombed by muslim terrorists" Thank you for sharing this wonderful, proud and, inspirations piece of writing. So many people could do with listeding to you/reading your writing about beauty. You can be a beautiful person regardless of what you look like (in my opinion, anyway)  Thank you once again for smashing the st... (more »)
 
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ihoopshy said...
Dec. 30, 2013 at 9:02 am:
you write incredibly beautifully. there are some lines in this piece i wish i could hug forever. thank you for sharing this.
 
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NightOwl said...
Nov. 21, 2013 at 8:51 pm:
Hello. Thanks for your article. I was wondering, How old were you when you first started wearing the hijab or have you always worn it? Did either of your parents tell you to wear it or was it your choice, first? I know that you may have both agreed on the decision, but who brought it up first? Are you Sunni or Shia/Shiite? (sorry, I'm not sure which word to use for the shia/shiite) Do you, and others in your religion wish that non-Muslim girls would wear them too? Thanks for the info
 
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IlovemeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm:
This was beautiful!
 
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theatregirlThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 17, 2013 at 9:56 pm:
This is a great article. It deal with a serious and disturbing issue with humor and I really like it. It was captivating , and I was hooked at the humorous tittle "do you shower in your hijab?" . You Great writer, keep writing. :)
 
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MaccabeePreiss said...
Mar. 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm:
Pretty inspirational. I'm Jewish and I've never been able personally to wear my kippah in public, so your courage is very commendable. 
 
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SaphiraBrightscalesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm:
You don't mind if I take a printout, do you?
 
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SaphiraBrightscalesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm:
I'm gonna tell everyone about it!
 
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SaphiraBrightscalesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm:
Sweetheart, I can't tell you how happy I was as I read this, my heart almost came out of my chest pumping in joy :D
 
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SaphiraBrightscalesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm:
I felt so overwhelmed as I read this! Really, it was beautiful and fierce and I loved it and well I go on and on and on...Simply put: I'm proud of you! This deserved to be in the magazine! SO so so truthful and honest and I love every part of this article.
 
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AisuP said...
Dec. 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm:
"I enjoy debates about Twilight" hilarious! The only thing that has really confused me about the hijab is, how does one get it on? It looks so complex, especially for me, a person who can barely tie a knot properly or nicely fold the laundry.
 
tamz replied...
Dec. 7, 2012 at 3:55 am :
its pretty simple, there are many videos on youtube which can help u. it is even scientifically proven that covering your hair protects from harsh rays of sun, and prevents dull, dry, damaged hair with split ends and dandruff.
 
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 21, 2012 at 11:01 am :
Hello AisuP! Thanks for reading :) There are so many ways to wear the hijab, and different ladies style it in different, unique ways. Some people who wear it have made tutorials for fancy wraps on YouTube, but I tend to keep mine simple. It takes practice to wrap it, but is nothing too complicated :)
 
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lyze byze said...
Oct. 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm:
Thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom. You are an inspriational and independent young woman, and I found it refreshing to hear about a teenage girl who isn't wrapped up in what others think of her.
 
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Lady_Teribithea said...
Oct. 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm:
Wow. My class learned about Islam this last year, and had to try and understand from their point of view. I find it to be a beautiful religion, and respect people who brave our insults and take pride in their religion.
 
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