My dad turned around and suddenly took my headscarf off.

Hi. I was watching a YouTube video about unveiling and someone recommended me this platform. I didn’t realize before that there were so many people sharing the same story.

It was the summer of 5th grade that I decided to cover my hair at an early age. Next day was the first day of Eid and that was also the first day of covering my hair. Nobody in the family, except my dad’s sister, realized the seriousness of the situation and told me to give up. My dad was so happy. And I was happy for seeing him happy. Everything was going to start one week later.

It was one week after since I covered my hair. We went out all together as a family. I was excited to dress up and cover my hair for the occasion. After a while my dad turned around and looked at me and suddenly took off my headscarf. I was only 11. He said, “If you are going to put it on like this, don’t do it at all”. My parents had an argument about it that day. After coming back home I said I was not going to put it on anymore and my mom supported me. But my dad was trying to talk to me as if nothing had happened. I forgave him even though he traumatized me. I didn’t realize that it was a trick to make me keep wearing the headscarf. I was so naïve. I fell for his apology and I didn’t take off my headscarf. From a kid’s perspective I thought he wouldn’t do it again. As I grew up, we had more fights. He was intervening with everything from wearing pants- that was off the limits- to how to do my hair inside the hijab. Doors would get slammed and cries would never end.

I am 17 but I still cannot forget that day. It is even worse now. One time he said, “You’re putting your hair up and you are a pig and disgusting”. Thousands of threats including “If you wear pants, I will make you drop off your school” or “I will beat you up until your bones break” etc. When I was in 6th grade, I wrote a letter to my elder sister and told her that I want to stop being a hijabi. They somehow convinced me. In the 7th grade I talked to my counselling teacher at school who then talked to my mom. First thing my mom said was “Do you want to make your dad a murderer?” I was so scared that I couldn’t talk about it again until this day. Because my brother doesn’t like the way I cover my hair he said, “I am going to talk to my dad because If you are going to do it like this you are better off without it”. Before he finished his sentence, my dad said “No, she has to wear it”.

I made many encouraging friends in this journey. No matter what is going to be the outcome, I will do it. I will never give up. If my dad has right to questions my belief, I have right to live as well.  I hope one day.


(Image: Catherine Hyde)

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