Sunday, 14 September 2008

Everywoman - The Veil in Egypt

Everywoman is a programme on Al Jazeera English. In May 2008, they spoke to three Egyptian women, and their experiences with hijab and niqab. The programme continues in Part 2, where they also speak to one of them who has chosen not to wear either.



Any thoughts on the episode?

20 comments:

Candice said...

I feel like the first woman wearing hijab is only wearing it for what it gives her socially. (not bothered by men as much, she is seen as a religious woman by people) She even talks about wearing niqab in the future because she "likes it", which is quite unlike what the niqabi was saying. She is doing it for God. Started wearing hijab for God in her Catholic school (no social pressure *to* wear it, and in fact, probably social pressure not to) and later made the decision to wear niqab for God as well.

I do feel like many of Egypt's hijabis are like the first one... And I don't blame them. I was in Egypt a couple years ago for some time with my husband and wore hijab in certain circumstances, just to feel more comfortable, while I don't wear it normally. And he had a cousin who would wear it outside, but not when she was in the presence of men who came inside her home. And another cousin who wore quite tight clothes with her hijab, which kinda goes against the main goal of it... I guess there's some pressure to wear hijab in a lot of countries and that's just natural. It's part of your dedication to God that is right there, visually available for anyone, while all the rest (a lot of it more important than hijab), is not available for them to know just by looking at you...

Anonymous said...

Masha-Allah, May ALlah make it easier on all niqabis!

SubhannaAllah, watching the Niqabi with her child in the park got me thinking how scary other people might see niqabis. I respect the fact that this is their decision, but I think I might find it difficult in the states. And I don't think my *future* children might be scared of the big black walking ghost. MashAllah, may Allah make it easier on them.

I am a modest person who wears hijab and abaya's but I don't know if I could wear a niqab that would cover my whole face. It would probably cause people to stare more than usual.

Maybe it would be so much better with colorful niqabs. Black just looks too scary from the outside perspective.

Ramadan Mubarak to all!

sarah said...

here in malaysia they where colorful niqabs. although the majority population here are muslims but you would still be stared at when you where the niqab.

as for me, i have the desire to wear the niqab... and wearing all black like saudi women. imo, women are beautiful like that although they are covered every inch of their body. but then again if i start wearing them it would mean that i would have to change my whole life. my career. so for now i'd just have to make do to my hijab.

Anonymous said...

I thought the hijabi came across as really irritating and condescending. Not the type of person I would ever want to associate with. It seemed like her entire motivation for covering was so that people would respect her more and think of her as a decent woman. Why is a hijab a prerequisite for being viewed as a decent woman. And the "westerners don't have anything valuable to save/lose" (paraphrasing) really pissed me off too.

I liked the niqabi and the non hijabi however. It seemed like both of them had thought out there choices carefully and weren't just conforming to what society's expectations of women are. I thought the niqabi was truly wearing it out of her love and devotion to God rather than "I want to be seen as decent"

The example the niqabi gave about the diamond irritated me however. It never fails that a woman and her beauty will at some point be compared to rocks

Anonymous said...

the non hijabi was the most honest i had seen she was so confident in herself i really admired her conviction however i love the niqaabi masha allah they seem a lovley couple and its good that her hubby supports her decision in wearing the niqaab the first one was just a young girl and for us to judge her would be wrong at least she is covering and is modest it was a really good programme jazakallah for finding it and putting it up im a regular by the way lol

CaribMuslimah said...

I have to say any reason other than wearing the hijab for the sake of Allah (and maybe for personal development) irritates me. I don't like the whole idea of hijab as fashionable. Or that I wear it so men can view me in a certain way...

I also think my existence as a Muslim woman is about more than a scarf on my head or modest clothing. Islam is so expansive...

nihad said...

i felt the niqabi had made her decision after really thinking about it and thats y she seemed so confident.... even with the niqab i could visualize a smart confident woman talking ..the first hijabi seemed more superficial.. she seemed to be following fashion more than islam.. as for the nonhijabi i'm fine with the fact that it is her decision not to cover but I dint like her condescedning attitude towards hijabis. when she listed out reasons that girls wear hijab she listed out all the wrong reasons but not the right ones as if all girls wear hijab only for wrong reasons. all in all a good video.

Anonymous said...

The journalist was jst...! I don't think she understands the purpose of wearing a hijaab, she sees it as fashion, she seems alittle lost.

Wearing the veil isnt compulsory, I see it as a little extreme.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I was really saddened when I saw the niqabi with her child in the park, and the fact that the baby doesn't even get to see her mum's face or even have any skin to skin contact when outside the home.

I do feel that there is something deeply wrong when even a face is thought to be a sexual object, it takes away all the innocence of the world, particularly for young children. But thats just my opinion...

Anyway, well done for the blog, I love it, masha'Allah, keep it up

Basbousa said...

I think that the hijab first and foremost is for our religion, but I can't deny the fact that it's a part of my identity as a Muslim woman.. One cannot deny that the hijab has a lot of social benefits as well, especially in Muslim countries.

Thanks for posting, Jana

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but who are we to judge the journalist, you don't know her heart. She said only what a lot of people explain to non-hijabi's that its about respect and to be respected for who we are not what we look like. The niqabi said she was impressed by the girls who wore niqab in her school, does that mean that was the only reason she wore it, no, in the end her final decision was based on what she thought was right for her and what she felt its what Allah (SWT) wanted from her, so why is the journalist any different, you have to appreciate and like the idea of wearing niqab to consider wearing it and to come to your final desicion. What the non-hijabi said is very true just bc you wear a hijab doesn't make you a better muslim then someone who doesn't bc they can be just as judgemental and catty. As a hijabi myself it saddens me to see muslim girls judging each other instead of supporting one another

soph said...

I've been watching lots of the everywoman series online...it's really interesting and gives quite a balanced view of things I think...
And also reports things which you don't see so much in the main news...Like this story about this couple in Malaysia who were forcibly separated and had their child taken away from them...I had no idea about these apostasy laws...

Anyway, Great post!

Anonymous said...

I also felt sorry for the baby of the niqabi - s/he wasn't even reacting to the mother's gestures.

Scarf Ace said...

gosh, i have so many thoughts that i don't know where to begin. i will inshaaAllah have to address them on my own blog when i get a chance (i will link back to you of course). what i do want to say here is that with all due respect, i still do not understand the purpose of niqaab--covering one's face seems so problematic, especially here in the states. both videos were excellent, thank you for posting them. jazakaallah

Anonymous said...

The hijab-girl does not seem very clever to me (sorry). she is only talking what other told her, not what she has figured out herself. and that she doesn't have any respect for women who take off their hijab ... 1. how long is she wearing it?let's pray for her she won't ever change her mind!2.there are as many reasons women put on hijab as there are why they take it off. if she was a believing muslim, she wouldn't dare to be the one to judge!

the niqabi seemed nice and devoted, but since I'm a mother myself, I found it terrible to see her with the child. I mean, i think a child needs his mothers face and hands ... especially outside, where everything is strange, but a smile by the mother and the touch of her hands gives him/her self-confidence.
and that everything in saudi-arabia is perfect for women, is such a nonsense! is your life only including going to the mall or meeting friends?

mine not. i wanna decide by myself where and what to work, where to travel or what to dress (without being sexual harassed for not being black in black with niqab..it happened to so many girls I know, during their umra - and they were all wearing hijab of course). and i want to be able to drive the car if I want to. and if a woman gets raped, I want the man to get punished not her!
so talking of saudi arabia as a paradise is almost an insult to any thinking woman.

i liked the non-hijabi the most. she was very smart and spoke in her own words.She seemed so natural to me, not like a machine repeating what others say.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the anons above about the niqabi. I feel sorry for the baby and i really dont agree with women wearing the niqaab. It is too extreme, it doesnt mention this in the quran to cover your face. i find it alittle bit of a communication barrier.

Anchibride said...

Thank you for posting this really great series! It was truly enlightening and insightful. I'll be forwarding the link to my friends (Muslim and non-Muslim alike).

I wish we had shows like this on American TV. The closest we got was an Oprah show on mothers, which featured a young, African-American hijab-wearing woman who worked as -- get this -- a professional sports trainer at a gym! That was really cool!

Anonymous said...

what the second anonymous before me said is true the intention in wearing a hijab/niqab were all righteous. It was for the sake Allah (SWT) and being viewed as a decent woman. I;m shoked to say the least not judging the first girl, in egyptian culture do woman really go to the salon to have their hijab done, its seems a bit overboard and kinda defeats all purpose of wearinng the hijab. Mashaallah she looked goergous in her weeding. I like the whole message she gave out about respect and equallaty. the niqabi was inspirational though she did kinda look scary with her child in the park. After i though about that its kinda stupid to think it theres no where in a textebook that says a child psychy is damaged cuz he cant see his moms face outside . there certain cultures where people wear a mask in the shape of animals and thats completely normal . Objectivly for the kid its completely normal . mashallah i really like niqabis, they seem very peacefull when i see a niqabi i see someone with a purpose a goal in life and thats reaching paradise and is willing to sacrifice anything for it. subhanallah may allah reward the hard working ameen

Anonymous said...

Assalaam alaikum,

I'm really saddened that all these viewers have found it in themselves to judge the journalist girl. I wonder if any one even realized that she mentions the reason she wore the hijab and her motivation for doing so.

It's a big step for someone who has a certain place in life, who used to love doing her hair and changing her style, who wanted to be a journalist on TV and knew full well that hijabis in Egypt have not been successful in attaining this, and then to take the step and decide to wear hijab because she wants to be from the people of jannah (in shaa Allah). What purer intention is there?

I for one pray that she attains jannah, for which she made sacrifice in this world, ameen.

Jazakum Allahu khairan for posting the video and for putting the site together, it's really nice ma shaa Allah.

Salwa said...

very very insterestign sis thanks for the viseo.
The fisrt hijabi is growign and learnign slowly just i had too and most of us here. so dont critizes her everyone needs to start soemwhere and liek she said when her iman grows she will isnahllah wear niqab. soem peopel wake up one day and put full hijab on and niqab but some it takes a bit longer doesnt mean her iman is not as strong as teh others. i really liked her obviously she has a long way to go... you know with teh pluckign of teh eyebrows and make up. but inshallah when she reads more quran she will learn.
teh niqab woman was nice too. just as i knwo niqabies to be, strong women with confidence more then a super model.
and teh last girl non hijabi just irritated me, i have muslim friends who dotn wear hijab and they dont talk liek that. lol.
she was soooo naive and loved herself too much. thinkign she was attractive?? lol ok dear. to be honest we muslimahs dont need people in our faith who think taht way. she was sayign hijabies are narrow minded and ant social. where she is the one who only wishes to socialise with peopel in clubs and pubs and men. i think she is the one who is narrow minded and brain washed.
allah guides who he wills.
it was nice to see people in egypt anyway.
thanks

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails