BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer
Women of Toledo, a 501c3, grassroots organization composed of women from varying backgrounds, held a two day event recognizing International Hijab Day.
Hijab is the name for the head scarf that Muslim women wear. Recently, non-Muslim women have started wearing the head scarf, or head wrap, as some refer to it as, for either stylish reasons, cultural, or medical.
The first event took place at the West Toledo Library, 1320 Sylvania, on Thursday, February 1. It featured a panel of women discussing from either a religious point, or a personal point, why they wear Hijab. Panelists also filled questions from the audience.
Nina Corder, managing director for Women, of Toledo told The Toledo Journal the purpose of the event is to educate the public on why women choose to wear Hijab, and the challenges they face.
Zarimah El-Amin Naeem, founder of Beautifully Wrapped, the organization, who co-sponsored the event, was one of the panelists. She was born a Muslim, but didn’t start wearing Hijab, on a daily basis, until college. Ms. El-Amin Naeem told the audience that she believes in wearing Hijab daily, because of her religious beliefs, but doesn’t look down on those women who choose not to wear it.
Recently, the Hijab has been worn by many African American women for either cultural indemnity, or simply for style. Ms. El-Amin Naeem, who is also a Anthropologist, said R&B singer, Erica Badu, popularized the Hijab in the late 1990s, as a fashion and cultural statement, amongst non-Muslims, and it has remained strong ever since.
Day two of the event was held on Saturday, February 3, in the ballroom of the Secor Building, 425 Jefferson, in downtown Toledo. The event was geared specifically toward celebrating Black History Month, and featured cultural dances, food, and products such as hair and skin care, as well as clothing, that highlighted African American culture.
Michelle Ansara, president of Women of Toledo, said the day’s event is a continuation of educating the public on why Muslim women wear Hijab, but the day also focused on African American women who may not be Muslim, but wear Hijab, or a head scarf, as referred to by those women who aren’t Muslim.
Jeanette Martin attended the event because she wants to learn different techniques on how to wear a head scarf.
Daisy Jennings is from Honduras, and lives in New York, New York. She said she takes every opportunity to attend events that highlight the culture of women of African descent.