Reflections on what I’ve read so far

So I’ve been reading  “Does My Head Look Big In This?”. I find that I was shocking myself. I have nothing against the Muslim religion and completely respect and accept it, but deep down, I did harbor some grudging sentiments concerning Hijab wearing. I just always felt that it was a means of oppression for women (even if I was cool with the system of beliefs that dictated the wearing of a Hijab).

Thus, as I was reading this book, I was at first somewhat critical about Amal’s choice to wear the head scarf. I understood WHY she wanted to do it, for herself, but still felt that she was a part of a system of oppression. I just didn’t understand why a woman would choose to cover herself up.

But as I continued to read, Amal’s explanations for why she wanted to wear it weren’t just absorbed on the surface for me. It wasn’t “well yeah, I respect her choice and understand that it IS her choice, but I still think she’s in the inner workings of an oppressive trend”. I started to understand her choice on a deeper level. My opinion actually changed. And that is the part that shocked me. I had never looked at the choice to wear a Hijab in that light. I never thought about the fact that especially in such a hard environment for Muslims, wearing that headpiece is a sign of unity amongst others in their community. It never occurred to be that it was a true struggle that they were trying to overcome for their god.

I feel a little iffy about admitting on here my original critical disposition concerning Hijab wearing when reading this book. I will though because I think that one little change in my thinking that occurred on a Tuesday night at midnight flipping the pages of this story is exactly what this program is about. It’s about having an open mind (despite pre-existing opinions or notions, heavily influenced by the society we live in) and changing points of views. I know I’m just one person and I wasn’t exactly the biggest bigot to start with, but if only one american has been even a little enlightened from this program at the end of it, then I feel it was a success.