Monday, June 14, 2010
''We think of paradise at that point..." said Sarah
There are many types of niqabs, Hebah explained, pulling at least a half-dozen out of her closet. Pushing aside her worn copy of “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” she made room for them on the bed.
Her niqabs were made by a seamstress in Egypt whom she met while visiting extended family, but many American niqabis buy their garments online. “You can’t get them here,” Hebah said. “I mean, the ones at the back of our local halal store — hideous.”
As she rummaged through her scarves, Khadijah tied one around her waist and twirled like a ballerina.
Muslim women who cover usually wait until puberty to conceal their hair and bodies in public, but Khadijah likes to wear a hijab for dress-up — especially the pink one with sparkles.
Hebah said she wanted Khadijah “to be a confident female who is not victimized or abused.” She explained: “For me, the best way to do that is to do what I’m doing, and not just because Mama told her to, but because of her conviction. At the end of the day, she has to stand in front of God alone.”
When reminded that hers is a rocky path, and it would likely be the same for her daughter, Ms. Ahmed paused, then began to cry. “People don’t understand,” she said, wiping a tear with the edge of her sleeve. “We’re really strong, but it takes a toll on you. Sometimes you think, ‘I just want to rest.’ ”
Sarah, helping her sister out, said: “We think of paradise at that point. Heaven is where we’re supposed to rest. That’s what gets us through.”
From Lorraine Ali's article in The New York Times. More Here.