• Naima Shaltu

What is the "Story of a Hijabi"



Story of a Hijabi?

If your reading this, you are asking yourself the same question I asked myself I first started this page. I have had this website made since August 2017 and I have yet to introduce what this page is all about. And with that said, let me get straight to the point.

Of vs. About

Story of a Hijabi within the title states that it is a story, of a a person who happens to be also a Hijabi. Just like every story book, there is a beginning, middle and end. In this story however, the beginning seems to be a little lost because the story could start really anywhere. What do I mean? Well, although this might be a story "of a Hijabi", it isn't necessarily all "about" the Hijabi. We are all interconnected in some way. This Hijabi, just so happened to have learned and is still learning so much in their journey of life by the inspirational lessons, and people surrounding her, that it doesn't seem fair to say that this is a story about a Hijabi. Each of those individuals that have some type of connection with this Hijabi, having important stories of their own in which they must get a chance to be heard and recognized. Story of a Hijabi plans not only to give that platform to talk about their own story but, give a platform for voices that aren't heard as much in hopes that not only that we see that this Hijabi grows but, that anyone reading, listening or watching may benefit. 

Who is the Hijabi?

I mean it's hard to tell because most of the time it just a girl with her back facing the camera. The simple answer to this question is that, it is me, but it doesn't have to be. And why I say this simply is, that although it may appear sometimes to be obvious that the person mainly featured is the same person, this isn't always the case. A lot of times we focus on the individual story and only want to view things from one lens. We can look at any of these pictures and imagine any hijabi facing the direction towards whatever background may appear. It could be you, someone you know, don't know, or even want to become. 

Why is her back always facing against the camera?

I mean there are many reasons why but the real question is: why not? Most picture we see posted on social media now a days are selfies or portraits. I don't have a problem with selfies or portraits (and I don't discriminate), but personally, it isn't much of my thing. Society's standards of beauty placed on women can become very challenging at times especially as a hijabi. In this world, we are taught that hijabi women are oppressed because they veil their physical beauty. Why is it that you must need to see and know what I look like and as questions about the length of my hair, if I have hair, the size of my body, the type of body, etc? This is ridiculous. 

Part of the reason why most of the photos of myself facing against the camera is facing against what you can see of me, it forces you to judge me on my identity.  Another part being that I am going against the normative of what most photos are expected to be, a picture "of" myself. But is it really? You see somebody, but is it my true self? In a way that can be expected is that because this is called "Story of A Hijabi", you are following the places in which this Hijabi or any person featured is headed towards. It gives you a sense of direction in which the person is heading or trying to head towards. Part of direction is finding it and the other part is staying towards it; which can be the most challenging. 

What to look for on this platform?

I hope to not only inspire others through my journey but for folks be able to make this website their own. This a platform for everyone in hopes that we can be able to make a community. I hope to InshaAllah (God Willing), be able to help advocate and support you because I know for me growing up, I constantly struggled trying in finding community and be accepting of who I am. I know that in this feeling I am not alone and with this platform will hopefully rise a community of people whom feel like they can be themselves, to find support and find themselves just as I am.

Where do I learn more?

To learn more about the journey, check out my blog posts, poetry, henna page, social media sites like Instagram, Snapchat and even my YouTube channel. I am always looking forward to hearing feedback on what things I can work on and what you like or take away from the website. If there is something you would like to contribute to help support folks and the community, I would love to get in contact with you so feel free to email me! If you would like to share your story or write an article, also let me know! There is so much I have in store for you all so...

Until the next story,

Salaams (peace)