Video about Hijab-Veil in Egypt

Maria_Aya

New member
Hi all !!!
Just found this very interesting video about women in Egypt wearing the Hijab-Veil.
Since now have the exprerience of the reaction when I posted the video "Women in Saudi Arabia" decided to post this thread straight away at The Sauna to save us from the moving lol
For me the most interesting was the phrase : Women protest against to the goverment wearing the veil for the western connection the goverment have (speaking about Egypt).
Also for me is very moving as its a very natural image since traveling so often to Cairo. Many of us that travel alot at some areas of Egypt have to wear the hijab to be more safe or not standing out as foreigners.



also in this video we can see the fashion ways hijab/veil can be used



and this is from a documentary from UK TV about women in UK that convert from Christians to Muslim



Just to clear things up for me all these video's ARE connected with the dance we all love to practice, more for me as I adore arabic style, so they work as educating me/us cultural for understanding more. I'm just a spiritual person anyway.

maria aya
 
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Mosaic

Super Moderator
Maria_Ayu, thank you for the vids, they are wonderful. They, I believe do go a long way to explain why Hijab is chosen by many.

Having lived in Indonesia for 11 years, I was very use to seeing the Hijab, from the basic scarf to the full Past the shoulders Hijab, face veil and abaya. For the most part it is personal choice for women in Indonesia, but more and more the young women are choosing the the more traditional abaya and long Hijab.

I actually think they frame a woman's face quite beautifully. The fashion Vid showed the ladies faces in a very flattering light.

I think many people in the west seem to fear the veil, or see it as something the women have been forced to wear. Yes there are some women who are forced to wear it either by government or family. But having said that, Many, many of these women would be horrified if they were told they were no longer allowed to "cover up" they would truly feel naked. It is a way of life that has been a way of life for generations.

When I was a very young girl, I remember seeing woman always wearing a hat, scarf or lace veil thing to church and it was accepted and expected , that a woman's head be covered.

Thanks for posting these
~Mosaic
 
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Maram

New member
Thanks for this post.

The first video was very insightful, and I'm glad you brought it up.

Sooo many people, especially in Europe and North America view the veil as something that is forced upon women and that they HAVE to wear it. Over in the Middle East, it's just as natural wearing a veil as it is to wear a sweater. It's become engrained in the culture and many women prefer to wear it. If someone were to come along and try to 'liberate' these girls by forcing them to not wear it anymore, then I think most of them will be confused and offended.

I'm muslim and I personally veil myself (( cover my hair, long sleeves and pants/skirts)). It was for religious and cultural reasons. And speaking from an insider's perspective, most girls chose to wear it. Granted, a very small minority are forced but the vast majority will tell you they did it because they wanted to.

Plus, I like the many colors and styles and sometimes it's fun to turn it almost into an accessory.

But again, thanks for these vids.
 

Suheir

New member
When I was a very young girl, I remember seeing woman always wearing a hat, scarf or lace veil thing to church and it was accepted and expected , that a woman's head be covered.
Yes, all the Spanish and Italian women at our Catholic church used to wear a black lace mantilla and most women wore a headscarf when they went out shopping - you weren't dressed without your headscarf and gloves!
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
Yes, all the Spanish and Italian women at our Catholic church used to wear a black lace mantilla and most women wore a headscarf when they went out shopping - you weren't dressed without your headscarf and gloves!
Thanks Suheir, The name for the lace head covering escaped me when I was writing my post - I went totally blank!:D

Talking about Mantillas, I was totally enamoured of the Spanish ladies dressed in the traditional flamenco skirts or dresses with the lace mantilla on their heads. It was that young girl dream/fantasy thing, where you lay in bed at night visualising yourself dressed as a future adult in your dream outfit ... some dreamt they were Princesses etc, I was a "glamourous Flamenco dancer" dancing with a handsome man:D. I would also play dress up and invariably I would end up with a shawl or something wrapped around my head, hoping I looked mysterious and glam! When I was 10 ( 49 years ago :shok:) My Grandmother took me to see the Bolshoi ballet dancing Swan Lake - that was such an amazing experience, I then alternated between being a famous ballerina and an exotic flamenco dancer:) It was around that time I saw a movie which had a bellydancing in it, she danced in a genie style costume, can't remember the name of the film, so belly dancing became mixed into my dreams of dance LOL! - sadly my parents could never afford to send me for dancing lessons, way back then such lessons were priced for the wealthy.

Woops! sorry for the thread hijack Maria - But it seems that veils and dance have held me sway for many a year.
~Mosaic
 
Thank You Maria for posting the clips. I appreciate these glimpses into the lives of Arabic women and being bale to gain further insight into the culture. The dance can't be separated from the culture, how everyday women live their lives does tie into the joyous carefree personality of the dance.
Yasmine
 

da Sage

New member
Thanks for this post.

The first video was very insightful, and I'm glad you brought it up.

Sooo many people, especially in Europe and North America view the veil as something that is forced upon women and that they HAVE to wear it. Over in the Middle East, it's just as natural wearing a veil as it is to wear a sweater. It's become engrained in the culture and many women prefer to wear it. If someone were to come along and try to 'liberate' these girls by forcing them to not wear it anymore, then I think most of them will be confused and offended.
I saw the most adorable little girl this weekend. She couldn't have been more than 5 or 6, and she was already wearing a fancy patterned headscarf with sequins! Obviously she was too young to be required to wear it - it was clear that she wanted a head scarf just like mommy's.:)

This is why I get so angry at Turkey's rules against scarf-wearing at university. This is such a strong cultural and religious custom, it's wrong to exclude/harass women by forcing them to choose between higher education and their hijab.
 

Caroline_afifi

New member
There are also certain areas in Egypt where they ban the Islamic dress for women. Sharm is one of them and possibly Hurghada? they think it looks bad for tourism.

My mum in law loves to swim but she does it fully clothed with Hijab... she laughs like mad when a big wave comes and undresses her!

You see the Egyptian women swimming in places like Ein el Sukhna and the North coast but not tourist resorts so much. They are allowed to sit on the beach but not get into the water.

Last November when I was in Sinai we were next to an Egyptian family on one side and two naked thongs on the other. It was rather Bizaare.

I have to confess though, it does annoy me when I see the Arab husband wearing small shorts and lashing on the sun tan lotion whilst his wife it desperately seeking shade and running around after the little kids whilst wearing covering from heard to toe.
 

TribalDancer

New member
Yes there are some women who are forced to wear it either by government or family. But having said that, Many, many of these women would be horrified if they were told they were no longer allowed to "cover up" they would truly feel naked. It is a way of life that has been a way of life for generations.
Sooo many people, especially in Europe and North America view the veil as something that is forced upon women and that they HAVE to wear it. Over in the Middle East, it's just as natural wearing a veil as it is to wear a sweater. It's become engrained in the culture and many women prefer to wear it. If someone were to come along and try to 'liberate' these girls by forcing them to not wear it anymore, then I think most of them will be confused and offended.

Ah, but that is the point, isn't it? Ideally, no one would tell them they COULDN'T cover up, any more than someone should tell them they MUST. It is the offer of choice that we here in the West find important, and it is a choice many women of the world are not allowed to make...:(

And using the excuse "It's so common over there, like a sweater" doesn't fly with me either. Ya know, foot binding of young girls was also once entirely common in China, and if women suddenly one day unbound their feet after years of training the feet, they would have been uncomfortable and had another rash of medical concerns, so they had to stay bound for their own comfort. But once it was no longer culturally ingrained, you can bet people stopped doing it.

I understand people CHOOSING of their OWN VOLITION to dress modestly or veil. But being told you must, by an individual or a group, rubs me the wrong way.
 
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Maram

New member
Ah, but that is the point, isn't it? No one would tell them they COULDN'T cover up, any more than someone should tell them they MUST. It is the offer of choice that we here in the West find important, and it is a choice many women of the world are not allowed to make...:(
I don't get this post. Maybe I just misinterpreted it.

Most 'muslim countries' (( I say this in italics because there really isn't a country with shari'a law)) offer women the choice to wear it or not wear it. Have you been to the middle east? A good number of women, chose to not wear it. The majority do wear it in most countries, except for Lebanon.

If you tell a woman that law doesn't require her to cover up, then yeah she probably knows that (( unless you count Saudi Arabia and Iran but even though I observe hijab, I disagree with their hijab policies)).

They do it to observe their religion and to celebrate their culture. I think it's hard for North Americans to understand their culture, possibly because ours is soooo new while theirs have been around since the dawn of mankind. It's easy to tell an American woman that " Oh, you don't need to cover up" but over there telling her to take off her hijab would offend most women as much as if you told her to take her top off.

I think people should respect other's cultures since there is no such thing as a 'right' or a 'wrong' one. If you don't want to wear hijab then don't. But don't assume that a girl who does is oppressed or thinks she needs to be 'liberated' because she does wear a headscarf. These girls have a different idea of liberation than western women.

But I will say this again. I may have misinterpreted this post completely and read into it waaay too much. So please forgive me for any misunderstanding.

Edit: And I think I ought to mention that a great number of young men and women in the middle east are choosing to be more conservative than their more liberal parents. Probably thanks in part to growing Anti-Western sentiment and growing nationalism. So it's not too hard to find a girl in Egypt who will observe in hijab or even niqab (( veiling the face)) where her mother may not even wear the hijab.
 
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Mosaic

Super Moderator
Edit: And I think I ought to mention that a great number of young men and women in the middle east are choosing to be more conservative than their more liberal parents. Probably thanks in part to growing Anti-Western sentiment and growing nationalism. So it's not too hard to find a girl in Egypt who will observe in hijab or even niqab (( veiling the face)) where her mother may not even wear the hijab.
This is so common in Indonesia, The young choosing the veil/abaya, (especially the university educated, though it is becoming more common amongst the upper middle class young women), whereas their mothers/grandmothers don't wear any veiling except of course when they go to the mosque.

I understand what you are saying Tribaldancer in regards to be forced/ordered to wear hijab etc. I hate the fact that Australia has a law that says I HAVE to go out and vote if I don't I get fined. I don't mind registering as is also required by law, but resent being ordered to go and vote in local and national elections, even if there isn't one single person I am willing to vote for. So much for democracy and free choice! Mind you that law is for everyone not just women. So here we have this compulsory voting law but young women are allowed to wear hijab to school/uni/work, thank goodness the law embraces the differences in cultures and religions. Schools accommodate with the school uniform girls who wish to wear hijab. The same goes for boys/men of the sikh religion, they are allowed to wear their turbans and Jewish boys the skull cap. I know various countries have said no to religious attire and I believe that is very unfair, and discriminatory.

~Mosaic
 
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da Sage

New member
7
And I think I ought to mention that a great number of young men and women in the middle east are choosing to be more conservative than their more liberal parents. Probably thanks in part to growing Anti-Western sentiment and growing nationalism. So it's not too hard to find a girl in Egypt who will observe in hijab or even niqab (( veiling the face)) where her mother may not even wear the hijab.
Today at the store, I was helped by a young woman in a niqab. I could tell even in our brief exchange that 1)she is an independent woman who does exactly what she chooses and, 2) she has no interest in "conforming" to anything (niqab is not the usual style around here).
 

Caroline_afifi

New member
I know various countries have said no to religious attire and I believe that is very unfair, and discriminatory.

~Mosaic
In the Uk we had a situation 2 years back were a teacher wanted to wear Niqab. She refused to remove it and was suspended from her post.
She took it to the high court who ruled she could not wear it. It sparked a huge debate.
What I noticed was this (in Liverpool of course) Forward thinking English people were outraged that she should not be allowed to wear it, other English people said 'they can go to their own country if they want to wear it' some Musims backed the campaign but a huge number did not. Many Muslims associated to my working organisations felt it was not nessesary as it was not a requirement of Islam to cover your face. Hijab is allowed.
Many said, children learn from facial interactions and if they were needing to lip read etc. it maybe be a problem etc.
The high courts would not have decided this without a huge amount of consulation with Muslim authorities as they are terrified of appearing Isamophobic as it is. They call various organisations around the country on a daily basis seeking advice, including Tony Blairs office (unless it is to do with war, they dont listen to anyone!)
 

lizaj

New member
Yes, all the Spanish and Italian women at our Catholic church used to wear a black lace mantilla and most women wore a headscarf when they went out shopping - you weren't dressed without your headscarf and gloves!
Many women wore hats out of doors or at worst head scarves when I was a child. Some even wore face veils with a dressy hat and in mourning. Always to church. We all wore school hats..no I am only 61 but the Victorian era lasted a long time.;)
I have seen more local women with a face veil as well as hijab.
I am not sure why women should ever feel that is necessary or a good idea. In place of work you need facial communication and especially working with children. A woman can be modest and show her face, surely?
The headscarf or a hat is always a good idea in the heat and I saw very few women in Luxor( actually 1 I think) wearing the Niqab...and I went over on the West bank not stayed just in the city.
Thank God, you saw a lot of smiling faces...who wants to hide a smile..a whole face smile?
But it's freedom to chose I suppose.As long as it isn't an imposition.
But I do understand the struggle in Turkey....after all Ataturk sought to give women a measure of freedom by dispensing with the veil.

To return to the modesty thing, a young mum wearing a very colourful red , navy and silver Niqab turned to me in M&S in toen and smiled with her lovely dark eyes..bet she could well do the same thing to a man.:)
 
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Suheir

New member
In the Uk we had a situation 2 years back were a teacher wanted to wear Niqab. She refused to remove it and was suspended from her post.
She took it to the high court who ruled she could not wear it. It sparked a huge debate.
What I noticed was this (in Liverpool of course) Forward thinking English people were outraged that she should not be allowed to wear it, other English people said 'they can go to their own country if they want to wear it' some Musims backed the campaign but a huge number did not. Many Muslims associated to my working organisations felt it was not nessesary as it was not a requirement of Islam to cover your face. Hijab is allowed.
Many said, children learn from facial interactions and if they were needing to lip read etc. it maybe be a problem etc.
The high courts would not have decided this without a huge amount of consulation with Muslim authorities as they are terrified of appearing Isamophobic as it is. They call various organisations around the country on a daily basis seeking advice, including Tony Blairs office (unless it is to do with war, they dont listen to anyone!)
If something that *isn't* a religious requirement is preventing an employee from carrying out their job satisfactorily then it's logical to rule against the employee. My school teachers covered their heads and it didn't prevent them from doing their jobs.
 

lizaj

New member
Might I also suspect that women "over there" like to stay pale? One reason to wear a veil.
Ironic all those ads on Egyptian/Dubai TV..you see Westerners getting BBQ'd below by the pool and watch the ads for whitening the skin of "Orientals"!
 

Samira bint Aya

New member
Lizaj,
I don’t necessarily think Ataturk placed a ban on the veil with the intent to liberate women. He banned the fez too. I think he wanted to disengage religion from politics, and westernize his country.

Having said that, I am totally TOTALLY against banning the veil from universities. I think it marginalizes a large percentage of the population, it places uncomfortable choices on young women, and frankly I find it condescending and elitist.

On my last trip to Egypt, I decided I would cover up outside the hotel, especially when visiting Arab neighborhoods (as opposed to tourist areas). I don’t particularly like it, but it is not a big deal, and I figured it is an easy way to show my respect for the culture.

I found that women came up to me and chatted a lot more, and often paid me compliments. I’ve heard that you get better bargains at the shops, when you are covered, but I really have no idea… ;)
 

TribalDancer

New member
I don't get this post. Maybe I just misinterpreted it.

Most 'muslim countries' (( I say this in italics because there really isn't a country with shari'a law)) offer women the choice to wear it or not wear it. Have you been to the middle east? A good number of women, chose to not wear it. The majority do wear it in most countries, except for Lebanon.
Yes, I think I was misunderstood.

I was quoting a couple posts where people said it would be offensive if suddenly someone were to tell these women they COULDN'T wear their chosen attire. And I was saying that the point wasn't being told they *couldn't*, or that they *had to*, but that ideally they would be able to choose for themselves.

I do understand that some women choose this for themselves, and I respect that. I was speaking to the idea that someone would be forced to or forced not to, and that I felt that the perfect situation is for people to choose without someone else's intervention (for whatever reason, political, religious, social, or otherwise).

Does anyone here watch Little Mosque on the Prairie? I love the character of Rayyan, who is an Islamic feminist and wears a form of hijab (you can see more about the show here, and see what she wears: Little Mosque on the Prairie - Canadian, Eh? ) I think this show is a lot of fun, and her character fascinates me, as as I want to better understand what a modern Muslim woman can be like in many of its forms, Rayyan being one of them, however fictional.
 

lizaj

New member
Lizaj,
I don’t necessarily think Ataturk placed a ban on the veil with the intent to liberate women. He banned the fez too. I think he wanted to disengage religion from politics, and westernize his country.

Having said that, I am totally TOTALLY against banning the veil from universities. I think it marginalizes a large percentage of the population, it places uncomfortable choices on young women, and frankly I find it condescending and elitist.

On my last trip to Egypt, I decided I would cover up outside the hotel, especially when visiting Arab neighborhoods (as opposed to tourist areas). I don’t particularly like it, but it is not a big deal, and I figured it is an easy way to show my respect for the culture.

I found that women came up to me and chatted a lot more, and often paid me compliments. I’ve heard that you get better bargains at the shops, when you are covered, but I really have no idea… ;)
yes it was to get rid of the old religious trappings but many took it also as a sign that women should be considered more equal in society..at least that's what some Turks have told me. I am sure the reality is much different.
France also has tried to keep to its' ideal of religion and the state separate which is why they have had run ins with headscarves perhaps more so than we have. But then BA stops folks from wearing crosses with their uniform!:confused:
 
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