if she pays no mind to fancy dressing. Then, she has liberated herself from the shallow needs of regular girls and is now on par with her male counterparts. This sentiment has given us oxymoronic slogans like “substance over beauty” and “beauty and brains” and “not like other girls”.
It’s how to change and go to the bathroom when public bathrooms make your skin crawl. It’s needing to pray without any private place to do it. It’s keeping your damn hair successfully tucked back without the waves constantly tugging it all out. How!
As a first-born Muslim daughter, I was neither sad nor happy. There were challenging situations, but there were beautiful memories too. I kind of feel like it has moulded me into a stronger person. I can handle a lot of things because of what I went through.
We do brunch together to catch up on life and laugh till our bellies hurt, drop off a dish we cooked and get something else in return in that butter tub. I can give them constructive criticism and advice with good intentions. I’m there to catch them or pull them up whenever they are about to fall.
The burqa existed long before the Taliban, worn by Pashtun women to mark “the symbolic separation of men’s and women’s domains.” Although it could be argued that this reinforces patriarchal ideas of women belonging at home, we must remember that many saw the burqa as a “liberating invention”.
I remember my father telling me that I must not see the world from the perspective of a man, but from my own perspective which will only develop once I venture out into the world.
The inevitable comparison between the ‘real me’ and the ‘retouched me’ emerges. Of course, the natural image can never live up to what has been designed as a beauty mask.
Asma Lamrabet offers a motivational reading of religious history where God repeatedly upholds the equality of women who are made of the same stuff as men. That’s a great place to start a conversation on how power is balanced between men and women within Islam.
The knowledge that once upon an Islamic empire, in a golden city of wisdom, walked a woman who wove law and algebra together with utmost perfection that her history couldn’t be completely obliterated gives us hope that what once was, could definitely be again, and perhaps has started to become.
At some point in my sessions, I decided to show up only mindlessly, registering my displeasure by scowling and asking fewer questions. I reached this decision after the diminutive counsellor had said “Husbands forcing themselves on their wives is not rape”. I had afterwards asked him to define rape. He was angry at my audacity. He did not appreciate being questioned.