I was about to start my university and I was excited to explore a new world. As a student in the USA, I got to meet friends from all cultures and countries. On the request of an Egyptian friend, I decided to try hijab for the first time. My foremost fears were people and their reaction to this change in my identity. To my shock, I met people who would appreciate my hijab and I met people who would judge me for this small piece of cloth. Some of my close friends congratulated me for taking this step in my life, while others chose to cut ties with me. Wearing hijab is not as easy as it might sound but it comes with its own challenges.
Initially, I used to get very conscious about my looks. University is an age when you want to look your best and getting compliments from classmates makes you very happy. Initially, I was fixing my hijab all day long. I started getting questions of all sorts and entering into unwanted debates. After a few months of practice, I aced the art of wearing and carrying hijab. I learned to deal with people and situations. I found loads of bloggers who would make hijab tutorials. All these women gave me a great sense of confidence. Now, I can carry hijab in more than 10 different styles. I connected with other women who are wearing hijab and living a normal life. One of my biggest apprehensions was regarding my career. People would question me as to how can I become a swimmer and wear hijab or how I can land myself a job while wearing it every day. These challenges gave me an opportunity to find creative ways of coming to solutions. Hijab not only made me more humble with people but it also made me very creative and a great problem solver.
Hijab has taught me some very important lessons:
- Wearing hijab is a sign of strength. Most of the women around the globe are not wearing hijab as a result of oppression. In fact, they wear it as a choice and carry it with all the pride.
- Hijab teaches you self-discipline and control.
- Wearing hijab does not mean you are not the same old person. It hides your hair and represents your religious values at the same time it gives you a choice to show only what you choose to.