Under Cover.

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Queen Elizabeth II is fond of it. Egyptian pharaohs wore it and called it Nemes. It’s just a piece of cloth and yet so important in any possible way for many people, pulling on both sides of it, trying to pull it on or off, wrap it up or on.

I myself felt the pulling when travelling in India and simply not feeling comfortable by being stared at all the time. I bought a thin veil. And – yep: modestified my shoulders and neck, sometimes my head. Unwillingly. but feeling better than before, when stared at and eaten by eyes. I live in Germany, a most tolerant society these days, where I am free to do and express what I want. Free to live the way I want. Where starers and touchers are told to stop and leave me alone rather than I am told to hide and tuck away ideally myself entirely. Each and everyone in my country can choose their own life style. Their own way of dressing herself or himself, their own way of privacy or public exposure. I feel strange when I see people who make different choices than I do. Defining myself as ‘norma’, perhaps what most people would do, makes all things severely different being slightly off. Embarassing to admit, but: Yes, I do find myself staring at women my age in high-heeled over knee boots, dressed much lighter than myself – and I find myself staring at women my age covered thoroughly.

And: I am very happy I live in a place, where I can lean back and stare at both worlds. Where people can live and make their own life choices.

German photographer Seren Basogul took a deeper look in to why and how looking at covered women leaves us behind in confusion in her graduation work in 2010. It’s worth looking at the metamorphosis of the strawberry blonde women she portrayed.

Really interesting as well yo click yourself through images, associated with ‘headscarf’ in the different language versions of Wikipedia. Some countries describe it more as a workplace safety cloth, to protect your hair from getting dirty of prevent hair falling in a clean environment, others draw instant references to religions, where Mary is almost always portrayed with headscarf, nuns, Muslim and some orthodox Jewish women wear it. The language tabs on Wikipedia are on the left side…go click! It’s an interesting journey through the writers minds.

Egyptian Blogger and art student Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, who draw a lot of attention earlier this year with her series of Nude Art, started a veil project, portraying women before and after wearing the hijab. Wanna be part of it? This is how it works:

Women who were veiled and took off the veil and women who are veiled and want to take off the veil,
Send me all or some of these items on aliaaa.elmahdy@hotmail.com if you agree to publish them:

  1. Full or first name
  2. Two photos one with hegab and one with no hegab
  3. Why you wear/wore hegab
  4. Why you took off hegab
  5. What were the responses when you took off hegab
  6. Why you want to take off hegab
  7. Why you didn’t take off hegab in spite of your desire to take it off
  8. What were the responses when you said you want to take off hegab
  9. The age when you started wearing hegab

Für Deutsche, die teilhaben möchten:

Frauen, die verschleiert waren und den Schleier abgelegt haben und Frauen, die verschleiert sind und den Schleier ablegen möchten, sendet Folgendes an aliaaa.elmahdy@hotmail.com, wenn Ihr einverstanden seid, es zu veröffentlichen:

(Google Translate sagt mir, dass das Arabische Original von “Mädchen” statt “Frauen” spricht, jedoch “Sie” verwendet… da Aliaa Elmahdy den Englischen Text ebenfalls selbst veröffentlicht hat, bitte ich die des Arabischen kundigen Leser des Originals zu entschuldigen und sich mit der Übersetzung des Englischen Textes zu begnügen.)

  1. Voller Name oder Vorname
  2. Zwei Fotos, eines mit, eines ohne Hijab
  3. Warum Du den Hijab trägst / trugst
  4. Warum Du den Hijab ablegtest
  5. Was die Reaktionen waren, als Du den Hijab ablegtest
  6. Warum Du den Hijab ablegen willst
  7. Warum Du den Hijab nicht ablegtest, obwohl du den Wunsch hast dies zu tun
  8. Was die Reaktionen waren, als Du sagtest, Du willst den Hijab ablegen
  9. Dein Alter, als Du anfingst, Hijab zu tragen

3 thoughts on “Under Cover.

  1. Pingback: Warum ich mich selbst verwalte | Selbstverwaltung Heinrich Heine, Jude

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