Marywood held its first ‘Wear a Hijab Day’

Jessica Bonacci


Photo credit/ Jessica Bonacci

Organizer Salma Ahmed, left, shows a student how to put on a hijab.

Amanda Duncklee, Community Editor

After months of planning, Marywood’s “Wear a Hijab Day” came to fruition last week.

The event took place all day on Wednesday, Nov. 15 and an information session on what the hijab means in Islam and how to wear one took place on Monday, Nov. 13.

Salma Ahmed, a junior nutrition and dietetics major and event co-organizer, headed the information session from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Swartz Center. Ahmed discussed her own experience as a woman who wears a hijab, why the hijab is important to her and other Muslim people and showed people how to properly don a hijab.

“As soon as you reach puberty [for women], you’re expected to cover [the head with a hijab], but it’s hard to do so in a non-Muslim country,” said Ahmed, who also noted that while it is encouraged for Muslim women to wear a hijab, it is not a requirement of Islam.

When asked by an attendee what she thinks of Muslim women who do not wear the hijab, Ahmed said, “That’s between them and God—it’s not my place to judge.”

When people hear the word hijab, an image of a woman wearing a scarf that covers the head often comes to mind. But, Ahmed noted that while the hijab is a head covering, it also refers to the conduct Muslim men and women are supposed to abide by: specifically, practicing modesty in dress and action.

Michael Carone, a freshman social work major and co-organizer of the event, said he enjoyed working on this project, though he did have one reservation.

“I wish there were more people here,” he said in the Swartz Center. About a dozen people attended the information meeting.

On the day of the event, Ahmed and others manned a table in the Rotunda from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. There, they told people about the hijab and showed people how to wear it.

Later that day, there was a Leadership Dinner in the Upper Main Dining Hall of Nazareth Student Center. Attendees gathered and discussed their experiences of wearing the hijab.

Jennie Wisdom-Lord, a social work graduate student at Marywood, attended the dinner and donned the hijab for the day, which she considered a positive experience.

“A Muslim man asked what it meant for me to be doing this and why,” said Wisdom-Lord, who participated to show support for Muslim women and to take a stand against hate crimes against Muslim people. “He then thanked me for doing so.”

Noor Alruwaili, a junior nutrition and dietetics major, said she was pleased people participated.

“I really think it’s cool when you see other girls be a part of the event, even when they’re not a part of the same background,” said Alruwaili, who regularly wears a hijab.

As for backlash, Carone said that he was not aware of any and noted that negativity only appeared on the event’s Facebook page.

“There was some backlash on Facebook, but those aren’t the type of people who are going to show up,” said Carone. “Those who are showing [up] are understanding and willing to learn about something new.”

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