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

January 25, 2010
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 147 comments. Post your own now!

HiddenAngelInTheDark said...
Apr. 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm
I love your article and it is very true because everyone is judged by it's cover now a days and it's sad
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Thanks for your feedback, HiddenAngel.

Goodluck with your own writing!

Writer_Jordan said...
Apr. 14, 2012 at 10:56 am
Oops. I asked my friend some of  these same questions without thinking about how rude they were.
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Haha, it's okay. I'm sure she didn't mind at all.

Thanks for you comment :)

maizyiscrazy said...
Apr. 14, 2012 at 7:58 am
This is a very well written article. Your voice truly shines through throughout the entire piece, and I could totally picture myself being friends with you! :)
Maheen-H said...
Mar. 24, 2012 at 2:23 am

This is an amazing article! I'm so proud of what you've written. I am a Muslim too and I live in Pakistan. I think I can quite understand how you feel. I feel our lives are very much alike. I dont wear a hijab though.

Keep writing! :)

Animal-Lover said...
Mar. 23, 2012 at 9:29 am
Wow.  This was a truly amazing article.  I could read it over and over again. :)
AndriaStar said...
Mar. 23, 2012 at 8:50 am
I love this artical. Very cool, well writen, true, and AWESOME!!! I love that you are proud of yourself. (Screw all the haters, right? Just messing :)) But really, I love your enthusiasm and pride. Keep going on this way, you positively will find a man that likes you for you. Keep writing. You're doing great.
codyabenbow This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm
Allahu Akbar! Great article!
WhyNot said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm
I love this article! I like how when you write you show how proud you are to be Muslim, it really shows that you are committed to your religion. I myself have been made fun of because I am Christian and pray when I can, I am proud to say who I am but you show it in a new way because of the jokes, the names, and the things on tv. You are a very admirable person and I hope your life turns out better tuan it is now. Your writing is beautiful and so inspiring. I too love history, my dreAm job is act... (more »)
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 14, 2012 at 7:38 pm
Thanks for the good wishes and good luck with your own studies, WhyNot!
readaholic This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 5:40 pm
Just amazing :) Loved it!!
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm
Thank you for your feedback, readaholic!
ForeverIndeed replied...
Aug. 24, 2012 at 11:26 am
Jazaakilaah :)
DifferentTeen said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm
That was so inspiring, and wonderfully written. I, personally, think hijabs are beautiful. I've tried wearing a scarf of mine in the fashion of a hijab but I wasn't sure how to wear it properly. I respect all cultures of the world, and I'm often intrigued by them. I usually ask questions about another's religion/culture and people around think I'm being offensive when really I'm just admiring. I'm also jealous sometimes how boring being American is, I kinda wish I could visit another country wit... (more »)
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm
Sure, DifferentTeen, I'd love to read your piece. Thanks for your response...it's actually fun reading the comments. I also enjoy learning about different cultures. Good luck with your own writing!
Kaffeine said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm
Well written! :)
star2brite This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm
I love the sense of humor you employed throughout this article, it makes you seem very relatable as both a person and a writer. Great job!
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm
Thanks for saying it had a sense of humor! lol :) Religion is a serious topic, but I wanted to explain it lightly but still keep the message intact. Good luck with your own writing!
james14 said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm
This is really well written. I have a Muslim friend and she gets stereotyped all the time by boys in our grade. This really helps a lot to understand why! Thanks!!!
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