By Nidah Chatriwala
World Hijab Day, which is celebrated on Feb. 1 encourages women to experience Muslim head scarves also known as hijab, for one day. This year, a group of Muslim Arizonans organized an event outside of Tempe Public Library during which they shared Islamic literature and distributed scarves, water and donuts to locals.
Four women accepted the challenge to wear the hijab for the entire day. Curious stares from the public aren’t anything new for Muslim women. However, for one of the World Hijab Day participants, it was very strange as she felt amazed by the attention she received after wearing the hijab.
“A lady and her husband were on their way into the library; she stopped by our table as he mumbled something, I am guessing not nice, as he walked past,” said Khadeeja Levy Haki, who is one of the co-founders of Modesty Relief. “We gave her a scarf and a gift bag.”
On her way out she stopped by to tell Haki something. She said, “My husband made me leave the library quickly, because he wanted to get home and read the books from the gift bag … thank you very much for the books. He is really excited to read them.”
This positive feedback left its mark in the minds of those who were present. As the couple walked past, the husband just smiled and waved good bye, as he was holding the gift bag at that time.
“All in all it went well, I think. It was a little challenging getting people to talk to us at first but once a conversation started it was good. We participate in World Hijab Day to spread awareness, understanding and tolerance. We just want to educate others and let them know we are all humans. There is nothing to be scared of,” shared Shannon Sharifi-Wilson, who also has her own hijab boutique.