At the age of 9

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I wore my veil when I was 9 years old  and when people know that they look at me feeling sorry   , saying things like ”  oh but that’s too young ” and for some people who are reading this, I am pretty  sure you said the same.

The truth is ,  at the age of 9 my Family had just returned to Lebanon after living 9 years in America   , I was wearing shorts , riding a bike and spoke Arabic with an American accent . I was happy , I was in my hometown  and I was 9 .

It took me two days to realize that all of my young  cousins and friends who were just as old as me and sometimes younger where all veiled . The concept of the  veil was not new  to me , my mom , aunt , grandma and all of the female figures in my life where veiled , but in America I did not have any young friends who were veiled . Seeing all these young veiled girls was something I easily understood , because growing up in my family we were taught that girls wear the veil at the age of 9 . I started to weigh my potions  ” riding a bike wearing shorts vs new clothes , cool veil and lots of friends ” .

It didn’t take me  a lot of time to realize that I wanted to be part of that community, that what I wanted  to be veiled like all my other friends , not because I was so religious , or because it was the right thing to do , I wore it simply because my friends wore it . As simple as it may seem being in the right place at the right time was why I wore my veil . My parents never pressured me to wear a veil  , they simply educated me  on what a veil is . Some might argue that a veil is big issue and the decision to wear it should not be so haphazard , but you know what , why not ? Why can’t it be haphazard , why does everything have to be reasoned out and understood . I knew what wearing a veil meant and I was not venturing into an unknown world .

 

And when I made up my mind and ran to my mom screaming ” baddi it7ajab ”  she looked at me and said if you wear it now will you ever take it off ? I paused and asked her ” Are you ever going to take it off  mama? ” she said no, well I will never take it off either I said . And that is how I wore my veil .

Today I have truly learned why I am veiled , I understand my veil , I love my veil . A lot of people might argue that you should only wear it when you are convinced and truly understand why you have to wear it and to they might be right but  this is what I have learned over the 13 years that I have been veiled.

As we grow up we become more complicated , we loose our simplicity , our purity and hence it becomes harder for us to accept new things into our lives , we over think things and forget the true essence of things . When you are young – 9 years old to be exact you are at your purest simplest and most beautiful state of mind and it is then that you can embrace new things the most.

I thank God that I was blessed with parents who educated me , a community that supported me and a veil that I wear proudly every single day .

Esraa

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4 responses »

  1. Pingback: Lebanon: Her Veil · Global Voices

  2. Funnily, going back at a young age plays with your mind a bit. You choose hijab before even knowing what it means or why you wore it.. you just wear it bc female figures are. I was the first in my class to wear it at 7 years old. It was casual. I still wore short skirts and shorts and all that. I was just a hijabi. I mostly regretted this when we came back to Canada when I was 11. I only ever really got over that feeling half way through high school. Guilt stopped me from removing it… I felt it was more trouble than I needed. Either way, I’m almost 23 now and hijab is just such a part of my life that removing it ever is probably impossible.

  3. Pingback: Λίβανος: Η μαντίλα της · Global Voices στα Ελληνικά

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