What’s your limit?


I was recently interviewed by a journalism student who was doing a project about women from different faiths.

She started to ask me about hijab, why I wear it, what made me start my hijab related website etc.

And then there was one question that completely caught me off guard.

After all I told her about hijab and my choice, she asked me if somewhere down the line I would ever take my hijab off.

The reason it surprised me is because she was asking me about some future time span, like in 20 years.

I told her if I was still the way I am now then I couldn’t see it happening.

But her question got me thinking. Everyone has their limit.

There have always been opportunities that present themselves to me where I could see how being hijab-free would be beneficial. And there are times when I’m feeling really down because of missed opportunities and all I think about is … What if? What if I took off my scarf. Would I be happier? Would I have more material things? Would people pass me off as another American girl instead of treating me like a foreigner? Would I be a better Muslim?

Maybe because I’ve been wearing hijab for so long,  not wearing it would make me feel naked.

But I do fantasize about blending in.

I’m not sure what would be so enticing to me that I would rip it off and run.

The reason I write this is because I think that we often tend to downplay just how hard it can be to wear hijab. And for each woman there is a certain limit. Some are stronger than others and can take all that’s thrown at them. And some women give up early on because it’s just too much to handle.

Either way, it’s OK to admit that this is a struggle.

The next time someone asks me about hijab, I’m going to tell them that it is hard, but I do it because I believe it’s a religious obligation.

Believe me, if it wasn’t required I’d be out their flipping my hair like the rest of them.

Behind the Screen is a weekly column written by Hijabtrendz Editor in Chief Mariam Sobh.