Since I moved to London, I have started wearing hijab. Admittedly only in my personal life, not my work life.
I have read the books recommended by several of you on this subject, including “Rethinking Muslim Women and the Veil” by Bullock. Incredibly enlightening and helpful.
To be honest, I am not somebody who thinks wearing hijab and a long skirt provides more protection to me as a woman. Yet I do feel more comfortable and more secure when I wear it, and I love that it is a visible symbol that I am a Muslim. And, of course, it keeps me warm in the cold days of winter!
The best part of wearing hijab is the hijabi mafia. What is this you ask? Well, I have found that when I wear hijab I go from being completely alone in London to receiving smiles and greetings of salam as I walk down the street from other hijabis. Further, I get offers of help and local tips from hijabis whenever I look lost or confused. It is fantastic. When I have had a particularly bad week, being acknowledged by fellow Muslimahs makes me believe I will get through this challenging time.
As for work, I do contemplate how I will manage the to transition to wearing hijab. I have read so many news stories recently about the prejudice in the corporate workplace regarding women who wear hijab.
I have changed my style of dress and I am very open that I don’t drink alcohol anymore – but wearing the hijab is different. As someone in the workplace already and fairly senior, perhaps I could break a barrier. But I could just as easily find myself out of a job and deported.
I am not sure if I am being a coward or being considered in taking my time to figure it out. Perhaps the biggest thing is that I am thinking about how I could do it. This is something I could not even imagine a year ago.
Do any of you have the experience of being established in the corporate culture and making the change to wearing hijab?