When I gain my economic independence, I will also gain my spiritual independence.

Even though I cried and said I did not want it when I entered adolescence, my family forced me to cover my hair saying: ‘’This is Allah’s order, you will burn in hell if you don’t obey.’’ Since then, I have turned into an unhappy and a hateful person. My family never attributed this transformation to their oppression, they always blamed me. They said I was a bad person. They said that if I don’t cover my head because I’m younger than 18, my sins will be written to them as well.

When I wanted to go out, I started not getting permission anymore. When I wanted to go out without wearing my hijab, my mom said, ‘’Are you going to be a whore? ‘’ One day, this issue was brought up while we were at my relative’s house, my mother said I did not want to become a hijabi. Then the disapproval came from relatives because in my family there wasn’t any woman who isn’t a hijabi. I was told, ‘’Be patient, one day you will be freed,’’ but somehow that day was not coming. They are now interfering my outfits. You can’t wear leggings, it is too short…It has become unbearable. I even thought about suicide many times. I still had dreams. I was going to study and have a great job, then I would be free. I had to be patient for now. They enrolled me in Imam Hatip High School (religion-based high school) We were constantly getting scolded by the teachers, they were even interfering with the colour of our headscarf. I was steaming mad. I started to read the Quran to see if I was the cause of my problems. What I read was inconsistent and patriarchal. I was completely estranged. I always postponed it because I was too young. I couldn’t find a job if I ran away. It was not safe outside, but the psychological pressure I experienced in this house was unbearable. I am at the university right now, still holding on to the that same dream. When I gain my economic independence, I will also gain my spiritual independence.

(Image: Francis Picabia)

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