PROJECTS: THE VEIL
My childhood memories often come to me as flashbacks. I see them flickering before my eyes and I try to reach out and touch them. I never can. But I have held onto one memory for as long and as strong as I can remember. I recall a moment when my mother knelt down to lift me off the ground, her sheer fabric hair cover slowly shifting in the soft summer breeze. The smell of jasmine filled the air as she caressed me. I still remember the glint in her eyes, magnified by the light hitting just the right spot on her beautiful face. The Veil is an ode to my mother. Having myself grown up in a moderate Muslim family with the majority of its women adorning a veil, it is impossible for me to look at the strong-willed women in my life as being subject to a symbol often portrayed as one that discounts them of their ambition, determination, their independence and ultimately their individuality. The practice of covering a woman’s hair, and sometimes face, is not restricted to followers of Islam - all the way from India to the Middle East, women have traditionally adorned some form of head cover as a public display of modesty. Also female followers of other faiths have traditionally covered their hair as part of their religious practice, such as with Catholic nuns. The Veil can bring women and cultures together – it doesn’t have to divide them.