Raneem, 26 years old, Irbid (Jordan)
I decided to wear Hijab because After 3 months of reading and searching about it I loved the modesty concept behind it.
However, I don't like to be stereotyped or mis-judged because of it. I am a “Wonderlander” who loves to explore and travel, so I've been to different countries where they don't have Hijab, for studies or work …etc. And sometimes I was the only Hijabi in the room, however, I didn't feel that different from the other people around me. But it always happens that people I meet there ask me so many questions about it, I don't bother to answer them at all. You get all kind of questions and it’s funny and nice often; I even was asked once if I have to wear it while showering, the answer is: NO! Also I don’t have to wear it while sleeping, and NO there’s nothing wrong with my hair to hide it, I actually have a beautiful mediterranean hair! And these kind of questions can be great ice breakers sometimes and lead to many of my inter-cultural deep friendships. But sometimes it's frustrating when the other person has pre-assumptions in their mind of what is Hijab and this "suppressed" image of a Hijabi woman.
I believe that people need to relax and stop being judgmental about the-people-on–the-other-side-of-the-world lifestyle. I think that the challenging thing is to open up one’s mind, change your mindset, and learn about something new and different.
People shouldn’t be scared of Hijab; if you're curious; ask questions, read more and be open to what's different than you, respect that difference and then make peace with it, isn't that what coexistence is all about? I think we're all similar upon some level as humans who share the same earth, but the world shouldn't all look the same or act the same, what's make it beautiful and colorful is its diversity. Be open minded!"