To Veil, Unveil and Everything in Between

To Veil, Unveil and Everything in Between

I have different pictures in my different official identification cards; passport, national ID, licenses …etc. I have one that shows me wearing the veil, one without, and ones with bandanas. I purposefully kept them all that way for several reasons:

“I am like that in real life; sometimes I cover my hair and sometimes I don’t.”

1- I didn’t want to go through the familiar horrific process of issuing new ones just to change pictures.
2- I am like that in real life; sometimes I cover my hair and sometimes I don’t.
3- I didn’t want to be forced to feel ashamed of part of who I was or still am.

4- What if I put it on again? Will I go again to change the pictures? Hell no!

However, I completely empathize and understand all the girls who rush to delete their old pictures when they put the veil on or off, because we live in a fu**ing judgmental society, with fu**ing judgmental a**holes.
No one would ever miss an opportunity to pass on a comment to make you feel bad about your life choices and make them feel better about theirs.

In a society that never forgives mistakes or respects differences, any change is not only frowned upon, but seen as a social crime.

“No one would ever miss an opportunity to pass on a comment to make you feel bad about your life choices and make them feel better about theirs.”

When you put it on you get the “mabrook” comment from some, as if you have won some prize, as if all of a sudden you have become more worthy of knowing.
Meanwhile others would give the condescending “oh, but why! You have such nice hair!”

When you take it off, the opposite happens too.

 

It’s been almost five years and I still get condescending looks and comments from both sides. Those who think I made a big mistake and those who look down upon me because I made the “from their perspective” wrong decision when I put it on at the first place.

“I do not regret my choices. Putting it on for almost 10 years is part of who I am and it shaped me and shaped the journey that helped me get where I am now.”

I do not regret my choices. Putting it on for almost 10 years is part of who I am and it shaped me and shaped the journey that helped me get where I am now. I hate it when I am in an event and end up questioning myself just because an acquaintance came to say and said “oh I haven’t seen you since, you know, you had this thing on” and gestures with their finger circling their head. Or that other guy who once in a nonchalant way said “oh I see you with a veil and I see you without a veil, why do you keep putting it on and off?” I met this guy exactly twice in my whole life yet he found it courteous to throw a personal question at me loudly in a table with 20 other people.

And don’t get me started on all the private and governmental services that require seeing your ID. Tante Olfat always wonders why such a beautiful girl like me would take it off. And Ostaz Hassanen stares at me and then uses the difference between the picture and the reality as an excuse for checking out my breasts.

“Ostaz Hassanen stares at me and then uses the difference between the picture and the reality as an excuse for checking out my breasts.”

I am at peace with my choices and proud of them. It’s only when I get the smirks and judgments that I shy away and feel bad. And I know I’m not alone.
Seriously, people! Back off. Back off. Putting on off a headscarf is none of your fu**ing business. It doesn’t make a person better or worse.
As far as I’m concerned, cheating, lying, stealing, judging and mistreating people do, or at least should!

I put it on knowing I could and would take it off if and when I wanted. And I still feel the same way about it. What would it matter if I took it off and put on 10 times or once every week? Are you questioned, judged, asked to plead guilty when you change the color of the pants you wear or the length of your beard? Do they question your morality and integrity when you change the color of your hair?

“I put it on knowing I could and would take it off if and when I wanted. And I still feel the same way about it.”

Please, before you burp a comment next time to make yourself feel better about your own choices in life, kindly remember to fu** off.

 

 

Sondos is a Writer, Theatre Director, Storyteller and Workshop Facilitator. Director of the BuSSy Project and Theatre Director at Tahrir Monologues.

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