By Oksana Smoliniec
SC Contributing Writer
The Muslim Student Association at ESU invited all students to participate in Hijab Day, on Wednesday and Thursday, March 4 and 5.
The event encouraged students to wear a Hijab in camaraderie with other students to experience a day in the life of Muslim women who wear the Hijab.
Aalih Hussein organized and led the event with help of Muslim Student Association president, Atiba Khan.
Tutorial sessions were held on Wednesday, March 4, where students were taught how to wrap the hijab.
Multiple scarves were provided in a variety of colors for students to choose from.
The session on Wednesday night also included a brief discussion of the reasoning behind hijab day.
The day serves as not only a social experiment for participants, but it acts as an awareness to propagate the idea that wearing a hijab is a choice and not something forced upon all women.
Students learned about the Muslim religion and what goes into the decision making of some Muslim women first-hand.
The conclusive event on Thursday evening created a venue for participants and students interested in the day to come together and discuss their experiences throughout hijab day and what potential affects it had on their day-to-day life.
“Many participants felt as though they were being looked at oddly throughout the day, but I was proud of how most people reacted to me wearing a hijab because I still felt respected,” stated senior Marisa Pagán-Figueroa.
A topic discussed at the event on Thursday night included reactions from family members, friends, and coworkers.
While some family members were described as supportive of the awareness brought by the event, other families were hesitant due to the religious connotations associated with wearing a hijab.
Hussein said of the event, “I think this experience helped others see what living as a hijabi/Muslim can be like in America, which is not easy. I felt proud of everyone who contributed; it takes a lot of courage to commit to wearing a hijab, even for a day!”
The conversation wrapped up with tying the experience of wearing a hijab to other struggles such as those that are racial or feminist.
“We had an amazing, open minded discussion about diversity and acceptance,” stated Chantal Fulgencio, junior at ESU.
Overall, the event was described as empowering both religiously and in celebration of the variety of students at ESU.
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