My mother told me how much she regretted to not making me a veiled girl when I was 7 years old.

Hello everyone. I don’t know where to start, there are so many things that have accumulated inside me. I would always love to explain these to someone or write them somewhere, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any sister or a friend that I can feel comfortable with to talk about. I want to start without further ado.

I’m now 17 years old and at third year of high school. For what I will tell you today, we will go to 3 years ago, the year that I graduated from middle school. I’m my mother’s first and only daughter. When I was little, she sent me to Qur’an courses, taught me the Qur’an, and also made me wear clothes that are normal for a child to wear at my age. My primary and secondary school was quite comfortable, but that year when I was starting high school, my mother told me that I have to wear a headscarf, otherwise she wouldn’t send me to school. My dad wouldn’t say anything about my clothes or about being veiled. In fact, he was someone who could leave it entirely up to my preference, if my mother didn’t interfere. I know my dad occasionally tells my mom not to bother me. However, at that time, my mother was putting a lot of pressure on me, because I wasn’t veiled. Anyway, 1 month before the first day of school I said “Okay”; “I will wear a headscarf.” It was completely a lie, I was so overwhelmed and I told a lie to keep my mother quiet. They bought me a phone after I said that lie; if I say I won’t wear a headscarf, that phone would never be bought for me. I didn’t wear a headscarf. My family regretted buying the phone. My mother kept saying “You fooled us”, but she left me no other choice. At the end of each school year, I was told, “If you don’t wear a headscarf, we’ll get you out of school.” So that, those 3 years passed with this issue on the agenda, and it depressed me a lot. After I was 13 years old, I couldn’t wear shorts or sleeveless tank tops. Although, I only wore black pants, loose t-shirts, and sweaters, but they constantly found them disturbing. By the way, I’m a petite and slim girl, and if I wear tight clothes, my body curves don’t stand out. Whereas, according to my mother, all men are watching me!

We are at home because of the Coronavirus. My parents spoke with me the other day and they told me that I’m growing up and if I don’t wear a headscarf, they won’t let me to go to school in the last year of high school, and then to university which is my only goal. “Come on, if we don’t let you go school, what do you think you can do? Are you going to run away from home?” they said. I couldn’t say “Yes” because if I had said, it would have become much tenser. In addition, when we were allowed to go out, my father told me, “Let’s go out” and my mother shouted “No!” Then I said, “What happened? Why not?” and she said, “You can’t go out.” I asked, “Why?” and she replied, “You don’t have a headscarf, I don’t allow you”, she told these like the only trouble, the only sin is showing my hair. My mother told me of her regrets; she told me how much she regretted to not making me to wear a headscarf when I was 7 years old, for not sending me to a religious school instead of sending me to a primary school. That’s why she blames my father a lot, “You always spoiled her, and you did whatever she wants.” All I want from them is to let me decide whether to wear a headscarf or not! I’m a quiet, wimpy and ashamed girl. My mother always says, “If I were you, everybody at school would know my name, I would show myself off everywhere.” Oh woman, know that who I am is your creation.

If anyone is willing to read this and want to give advice, I will seek advice for a one thing; how should I oppose this situation after the quarantine is over? “You can’t go out” she tells me, and taking away my God-given right. I’m not the type of person that travels much, but I’ve been at home for 3 months and now I want to spend some time outside. Thank you if you read.

Translator: EsilS.

(Image: Valeria Petrone)

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