Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Does My Head Look Big In This?

There are lots of names for people who wear the Muslim hijab and Amal has heard them all, "towel-head" seems to be the one that annoys her the most. Regardless of what anyone things, including her parents, her aunt and uncle, and her school administration, Amal is going to wear the hijab, the headscarf, all the time from now on. There aren't many people she associates who understand why she is doing it. The kids at school assume her parents made her cover her her hair. But Amal has her reasons and the most important one is that she believes in Allah and in the commandments in the Koran that say women should dress modestly. In her words, "The way I see it, I'd rather follow God's fashion dictates than some ugly fake-skinned person in Milan who's getting by on a pretty self-serving theory of less is more when it comes to female dress."

Amal is a fantastic character. She is has a wonderful mix of confidence and nervousness when it comes to her hajib decision. She also has a very real love/hate relationship with her parents. Amal navigates her way through typical high school experiences, crushes, nemesis popular type girls, and her own friendships she offers a unique perspective of a Muslim girl living her religion the best way she knows how. I loved it.

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