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Muslim students don hijab fashionably

Michaela Sundholm

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Aroosa Khan

Aroosa Khan, junior criminal justice major, likes to mix contemporary fashion with her headscarf. Photo credit: Michaela Sundholm

Hijab is the clothing worn by girls and women of the Muslim faith. It is characterized by long loose clothing showing only the hands and face with a scarf covering their hair. There are many women on campus who embrace their Muslim culture through their clothing.

Majdah Abughazala, sophomore pre-business finance major from Saudi Arabia, explained why she wears her hijab.

“In our culture, hair is considered the most beautiful feature and our husbands are the only males who are supposed to see it,” she said.

Women who wear hijab on campus are doing so in a more modern, fashionable way. Scarves with beautiful patterns, bright colored clothing and even skinny jeans can all be seen being incorporated into these women’s outfits.

Abughazala explained how the scarves can be purchased from anywhere. She prefers to shop at American Eagle to get scarves that are more stylish and trendy.

Aroosa Khan, a junior criminal justice major, also likes to be fashionable when she presents her scarf. Finding a balance between style and respect for her culture can pose a challenge.

“Sometimes it is hard to match clothing with my scarf,” she said. “While things are getting more modern and fashionable we do still try to be modest, like if I wear skinny jeans I’ll wear a loose top. I want to even it out.”

No two women wear hijab the same. Abughazala and Khan both said that they are proud to wear hijab and don’t mind when people ask about it, because they like to tell people about their culture and religion.

Wearing clothing that is culturally different gets a lot of attention from others, not necessarily because of judgement but because of curiosity, Abughazala said. Women who wear hijab are often stared at by people who aren’t aware of what hijab is.

“In Chico I feel like people don’t know what hijab is and are afraid to ask about it.” Khan said.

Now that Abughazala is used to it, she likes to answer questions about it. A common misconception she hears is that people think that hijab must be worn at all times.

“We only wear it around males that are not family,” she said. “If I went to a party that was all girls, I could not wear my scarf and wear a short dress.”

Wearing the hijab is a choice and women don’t have to wear it if they don’t want to, Aroosa said. She chose to wear it starting her sophomore year in high school.

“I was scared that it might keep me from playing sports; I had been on the basketball team and the tennis team and didn’t want my scarf to interfere,” she said. “I thought ‘what if I don’t make it because of my scarf?’ I ended up making it and I played in my scarf. It’s not holding me back from anything.”

Michaela Sundholm can be reached at [email protected] or @Michaela_Sun on Twitter.

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Muslim students don hijab fashionably