I thought this was going to be another one of those ridiculous behind-the-veil articles, but it is actually quite interesting. It’s about a mother’s reaction to her young half-Arab daughter’s decision to start wearing a hijab.
The other day, when I dropped her off at school, instead of driving away from the curb in a rush as I usually do, I watched her walk into a crowd of kids, bent forward under the weight of her backpack as if she were bracing against a storm. She moved purposefully, in such a solitary way — so different from the way I was at her age, and I realized once again how mysterious she is to me.
It’s not just her head covering that makes her so: It’s her lack of concern for what others think about her. It’s finding her stash of Halloween candy untouched in her drawer, while I was a child obsessed with sweets. It’s the fact that she would rather dive into a book than into the ocean — that she gets so consumed with her reading that she can’t hear me calling her from the next room.
This was beautiful. “I understood then that while physical exposure had liberated me in some ways, Aliya could discover an entirely different type of freedom by choosing to cover herself.”