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This 17 Year Old Kashmiri Girl Wants To Clear Misconceptions People Have About Hijab

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Hoorunisa. I am 17 and I live in the summer capital Srinagar. Though I was born and raised in another small town known as “Sopore” in Kashmir where I lived for 11 years, I later shifted to Srinagar.

Tell us about your artistic side?

My mother is my sole inspiration when it comes to drawing, writing, calligraphy or anything that relates art to my life. Though she is a teacher with specialization in science I have grown up watching her read poems of Sheikh-ul-Alam, paint no less than Picasso, jokes apart! She painted well! Now comes my favourite part thats writing, well mum never used to write anything but I loved her handwriting and the way she used to write on a plane paper without drawing any lines and it looked as though it was printed, that is where writing struck me, that was at the age of 12. I started writing basically by copying whatever my mother was writing be it an application or anything useless and eventually I started writing my own thoughts. Later I started learning Urdu calligraphy from my grandfather that is where the idea of painting came in. And then eventually I learned to paint.

After I finished my tenth with fine grades I decided to take up something that would exclude boredom. People suggested arts, well that wasn’t a bad idea but surely I wasn’t looking for political science, so a big no. Then I started searching “courses after tenth”. Thats exactly what I put in the search bar and I found a course in fashion design and merchandise which can be done directly after tenth. Though after joining  the course what came up was something I had never thought about! i.e issue of my age. It became a real big issue for me when I joined in a university to prove when I told anyone I was 16 . But somehow later people started to accept.

What is Hijab for you?

I had never ever taken “hijab” seriously before nor I wore one. But one fine day I was discussing the values and everything about hijab and I realized how many misconceptions people had in their minds about hijab. They thought we were forced to wear one  or that we will be killed if we don’t wear one. Too many people look at the hijab as if it has bizarre powers sewn into its microfibres. Power that transforms Muslim girls into (UCOs) UNIDENTIFIED COVERED OBJECTS, which turns muslim girls wearing hijab from an “us” to “them”. I wanted to eliminate that thought as I personally think with my veil I put my faith on display, rather than my beauty. My value as a human is defined by my relationship with God, not by the way I look. I cover the irrelevant. And when people look at me , they don’t see just a body. They view me only for what I am; a servant of my creator. You see, as a Muslim girl I’ve been liberated from a silent kind of bondage. I don’t answer to the slaves of God on earth. I answer to almighty Allah. “I am not oppressed”.

How do you define beauty?

In a world full of Kylies and Kardashians the true meaning of beauty is lost, I believe that every girl is beautiful but not like those girls in the magazines but instead for the sparkle in her eyes when they talk about something they love, for her ability to make other people smile even if they are sad. Every woman is beautiful not by the way she looks those are temporary or the so called perfect size of her waist that can decrease or increase. I want to remove the idea of “perfect” from “fashion. That is exactly how I see the connection between art and fashion. Just like the most beautiful art is “chaos “ so is fashion. We need to liberate our minds from the bondage of “plastic role models” and fill them with just “role models”.

In a world where everyone is plastic its hard for young girls to look up to something real, not as attractive as the plastic dolls. I have seen young woman around me wanting to die to look “perfect” and that has affected our “mental health”. In 2016 I started a blog on WordPress named mental health because till that time I had realized how important it is to be healthy rather than just look healthy . And I have seen how counselors who are the support guards of people affected with mental health problems react, Or how our society does . Our society tends to regard as a sickness any mode of thought or behavior that is inconvenient for the “system” and that is plausible because when an individual doesn’t fit into the system it causes pain to the individual as well as problems for the “system” thus the manipulation of an individual to adjust him to the system is seen as a cure for a sickness and therefore as good. Rather than following a “system” if we follow being “modest” life would be much more simple. Imagine a world with women wearing burqa all around the globe, problem 1: EATING DISORDERS will completely vanish if there is no perfect figure concept . Problem 2:- feminists will get rest a bit for not to judge women on there delicate looks but their concepts, that will eventually happen when you can’t see a woman’s face under a burqa .
Problem 4:- lesser rapes will take place , I won’t say will eliminate but the ratio will decrease.
Problem 4:- men won’t compare their wives or mates or whoever to Katrina Kaif or Kylie Jenner if none of such figures exist .

How do you describe the connection between fashion, modesty, religion and art?

As they say fashion is not constant that is what I have learned so far. Fashion keeps changing from time to time, but style endures and whats style?  “The creation of our own minds. So the question how fashion is connected to modesty finishes itself. If people can design bikini they can design burqas as well. That is how I connect fashion to art because art is not what we see art is what we make others see . Art is a lie till not exposed to the world, same way modesty can be a new fashion sense.

“A new era”.

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