Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

"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.



Join the Discussion

This article has 145 comments. Post your own now!

yousaypotato... said...
Jul. 27, 2011 at 6:02 pm
wow. You're so strong and confident in your believes. congrats. :) i have a question. and its not a critical question, though I understand it may sound like one. but I swear Im just curious: since you wear your headscarf for the sake of modesty, do you feel that girls who don't wear headscarves arent modest and are being "scandalous"?? and why can't you have a boyfriend? how will ever be married?!?!
 
yousaypotato... replied...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm
huh. thats really interesting. thanks for telling me! :)
 
Shadowrider said...
Jun. 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm
This is amazing! You are a very strong person! You expressed your point of view and answered the questions beautifully and in detail. You are an amazing writer! 
 
WeLiveForScarsThis 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. 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm
I really loved this article, it gives so much insight to the prejudice of our world today.
 
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 12:53 am
No offence to Americans. :P
 
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 12:53 am
This was funny and informative. It's weird, though, how different people can be -- people in my class ask questions, but never once has anyone been mean to me. I guess they're more open-minded in Canada?
 
gaga-fan28 said...
Aug. 4, 2010 at 5:18 pm
This was a really good piece! I like to think that I have an adequate knowledge of Islam, but your article actually cleared things up for me and corrected some of the things I thought before. You answered every question clearly and with humor and it made for an an informative but enjoyable read. My only suggestion would be to include a definition of hijab in the first couple of sentences, just saying that it is a headscarf worn by some members of the Islamic community, because even though I knew... (more »)
 
Shelly-T said...
Jul. 29, 2010 at 11:01 am
That's a really nice article. Thanks for sharing all of that with us. 
 
revolutionary01 said...
Jul. 4, 2010 at 12:37 pm
This is one great article! your sarcastic tone is amazing and flows with the article.
 
AvengedJasonFold said...
Jun. 9, 2010 at 9:06 pm

this is very interesting! And isn't it ironic that even with many explanations like this, people are still ignorant. I thought I had a lot of questions to answer being half Jewish and a diabetic and having celiac disease but it looks like you have a harder time dealing with people with questions than i do haha.

If you don't mind me asking though, I'd like to know why you chose to practice Islam and wear the hijab while trying to maintain a normal teenage life. It's very brave of you be... (more »)

 
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Thanks for your response! It's always interesting to read the responses on this post. First of all, I don't consider diabetes something that you should hide. Of course, some people are ignorant and assume anyone with diabetes is just another couch potato that needs to pay for their 'bad habits.' The problem isn't with you-it's with the other people who look at you with disdain.

 

Sure, I might be a target for some teasing, but again, I don't consider myself to be the proble... (more »)

 
AvengedJasonFold replied...
Jun. 26, 2010 at 8:11 am

That's a neat way of looking at it! I admire your courage to stand up for yourself and your beliefs. You're right, it is their problem and I think what you do is very honorable.

That said, I can't ever imagine myself doing what you do. Maybe because I'm a coward or maybe because I'm a person who doesn't find it necessary to practice religion of any kind haha. But that's just my "religion" (if I even have one) haha I'm always interested in other people's beliefs though. Thanks fo... (more »)

 
MayaElyashiv This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 4, 2010 at 2:03 pm

It's completely disgusting how many stereotypes there are in our world. Especially when they have to do with religion. While I can't completely empathize with you, since the Je.wish stereotypes are different from the Mu.slim ones, I can sympathize and understand to a certain degree.

 

This is a very strong piece, and also well written. While I disagree about some of your opinions, e.g. "...I refuse to be an exhausted and used teenage girl who is dumped and recycled numerous... (more »)

 
MayaElyashiv This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 4, 2010 at 2:04 pm
I'm sorry my comment posted double, I don't know how that happened...
 
MayaElyashiv This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 4, 2010 at 2:02 pm

It's completely disgusting how many stereotypes there are in our world. Especially when they have to do with religion. While I can't completely empathize with you, since the Je.wish stereotypes are different from the Mu.slim ones, I can sympathize and understand to a certain degree.

 

This is a very strong piece, and also well written. While I disagree about some of your opinions, e.g. "...I refuse to be an exhausted and used teenage girl who is dumped and recycled numerous... (more »)

 
xXxPaNcAkExXx said...
Jun. 4, 2010 at 10:37 am
Great Article.......i luved it......i'm a muslim myself n i do wear the scarf. n i just wore it new..... i wore it somewhere around feb 2010. n i just turned seventeen may......n i wore it from myself......n wen ppl c me they start creeping away from me slowly n stare at me up n down bcuz i also dress up weird. LOlz. :) but i'm really happy tht this article was written..... n as u said i do also wear my scarf with pride!
 
xXxPaNcAkExXx said...
Jun. 4, 2010 at 10:33 am
great article.........i luved it.......i am a muslim 2, n i do wear the scarf n i just wore it new this year i think i wore it somewhere around feb 2010.....n i just turned 17 in May.....wut u just wrote i actually hav been gone trhough some things........i get weird stares n sometimes ppl would like move away from me slowly. n stare at me up n down at the way i dress. bcuz i also dress up weirdly LOlz! anyways life is weird but in the end i wear my scarf wit pride like u said! :) i'm happy u wr... (more »)
 
Imaginedangerous This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm
Great article. It must really stink to have people judge you off of what a few radicals do. I'm Mormon, and I can tell you that the reputation polygamists (who are a completely different church) give us is very annoying.  I loved this piece.
 
audeosperoidare2hope said...
May 29, 2010 at 11:34 am

Great article... I live in Bulgaria but regularly visit Muslim countries such as Kosova and Albania and have several Muslim friends. I love that you are brave enough to write a informational and slightly sarcastic article. 

(BTW, I loooovvvee stuffed grape leaves!)

 
ultrabookworm said...
May 19, 2010 at 5:32 pm
I think it's good that you wrote this, for the record. And I laughed when you said I couldn't peek at your hair. Aww!
 
Allaboutlyf said...
May 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm
This is a great article! I think you did a great job describing what muslims-especially young teens- go through. I am also 16 and muslim myself. Even though I don't wear a headscarf, I do respect my religion and I try to follow what I can. Sometimes, people miss the whole purpose of the headscarf and yes ignorance can be bliss but it's also the scariest kind of danger that may exist! So, again, great job! May I ask where you are from?
 
Site Feedback