With March being the month of empowering women for International Women’s Day, I am keeping busy reading this very rare book. It’s strange flicking through the pages and found pictures of myself, let alone having my voices on it. Back in 2015, I took part in a research conducted by Dr. Nausheen Pasha-Zaidi (then a researcher at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi). The project was an interest to me personally and looked to explore the experienced and perceptions of veil and hijab concept among Muslims and non-Muslims in UAE and broad. Two years later, Mirror On The Veil was published – a tangible outcome of all the hard work, from research to editing, examining this controversial and misunderstood topic. Dr. Nausheen Pasha-Zaidi and her sister, Shaheen Pasha (an Assistant Professor) were the editors of this book.
Mirror On The Veil is an anthology of 32 personal essays collected from ‘regular’ and ‘ordinary people’ (including men too) which were arranged into 4 thematic parts: Becoming Visible, The Distribution Of Normal, Choices In Belonging, A Lesser Muslim (?), and The Pursuit Of Sentience. Professionals, artists, activists, writers, educators from all over the world shared their glimpse of life and experienced on the topic. It is therefore as honest, authentic and direct to the source you can get; as well as diverse views, insight, and description which only can enlighten you. It portrays an impartial and intelligent way of looking at this topic.
The book claimed to not offer on ‘finding truth’ or ‘tell everyone what to believe’ but rather laying out in the open the holistic view and touch beyond religious significance. It indeed goes deeper than the sadly, society stereotyping. It is more than a piece of cloth. The essays cover the why (reasoning), what (meaning of veil to you vs. the wearer/ non-wearer) and how (method to go about adopting it) – through each individual encounters and the academic expression on this veil topic.
In the modern society we live in today, this book is recommended for you to understand the concept of the veil (by the way it went back to ancient Mesopotamia time, so go figure!), which in turn hopefully help in advocating the community cohesion. A sound mind will think about being respect, less judgmental, sensitive to this topic, support to cultivate a balanced understanding – whether you are a Western secular feminist or religious feminist. It may change your perception of a veil, veil women or unveil women. It may make you think deeply about why and ponder long before putting or change any judgment. Or you may simply be neutral on this topic but your understanding will only be increased further upon reading this book.
Happy reading if you choose to purchase and please let me know your thoughts. You can purchase from Amazon here or click on the image below.
Live To Thrive,
P.S. Yours truly is on page 77 to 82 in case you wonder – A covered racer Aida Othman