I couldn’t say, “Mum, this headscarf is choking me.”

I’ve been reading your letters on this website for a few hours, you are so much like me. I was also forcibly made to wear a headscarf. I guess my situation was a little worse than yours. 

I wore a headscarf in the 3rd grade with family pressure, without waiting for my period to start or even I didn’t even know what it was to have a period. I have 3 brothers; every day one of them took me to school. Just in case to see if I do something, if I would unveil my hair. However, I didn’t even know how to tie what’s on my head. I was excluded by my friends when I was a kid, so I never wanted to go to school. I weren’t even allowed to wear pajamas at home, and still am. I became asocial at a young age. Whenever I tell my mother that I want to take off my headscarf, she says, “Your brothers will kill you, we will kill you, will you be a sex worker?”, and she always suppressed me. When my brother brought his girlfriend home, it was okay, but the kicks I get on my mouth, just because one of my male classmate said “Hi!” to me, was my right. That’s because I am a girl. I couldn’t say, “Mum, this headscarf is choking me.” I couldn’t talk about how I hated myself every time I looked in the mirror. I couldn’t mention that I slept every night with hating myself and praying to be dead in the morning. When I told that I couldn’t attend the basketball team in my school because of my headscarf, my mother said “What kind of a veiled girl are you?”, with a slap that I couldn’t tell how much it hurt me. I’m writing these because I can’t stand it anymore. 

I’m now in 11th grade and I’ve been wearing a headscarf for 9 years. My only wish is getting rid of this headscarf when I go to university. Yes, maybe the right thing is wearing a headscarf, but they never made us love religion. I’ve hated religion in my entire life and I’m not responsible for it. 

Translator: EsilS.

(Image: Tom Hammick)

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