Does My Head Look Big In This?
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An appeal to Muslim women: Reject the niqab

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This article basically talks about the decision to wear the veil or not and the rights that come along with that for the Muslim woman. There has recently been controversy around the veil worn by some Muslim women to conceal their faces. Many have viewed this as a conflict between Muslims on one side and the "Islamophobic" west on the other. When actually the debate is being waged primarily within Muslim society and is part of the battle for the heart and soul of Muslim communities.

Historically, the Muslim world has seen many women in power who governed from their thrones, presided over meetings with their advisers, with their faces uncovered, as shown in paintings from those times.There are smaller communities within the Muslim communities that may have their own rules or standards for the women wearing the head veil. In some places it is seen as a sign of respect for the culture and religion, while in others, it can propose a lot of disadvantages for the women. In short, the veil creates another obstacle to the economic empowerment of a community that already faces discrimination based on skin colour and accent. I took this quote from the book, "I pray that the Palestinians are granted the same rights and freedom and dignity that the Israelis enjoy and that the streets fill with Israelis and Palestinians walking side by side in peace" (Abdel-Fattah 54).This connects back to the book because the main idea throughout the whole story is the problem of wearing the veil or not to school. The book gives a present day encounter of this problem.

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Who'd be female under Islamic law?

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This article is taken from the Independent newspaper and it is written by a Muslim woman that is a liberal, educated, independent feminist. In the article she basically talks about how she defends Muslims that are prosecuted by their enemies. She goes over very specific stories of woamn who have been accused basically because of their intelligence. For example, Rania Al-Baz was was one of the first woman to have the job as a TV anchor. She was beaten up by her abusive husband, but in Muslim states, it is validated by laws and values.

To Muslim men, woman are nothing but a body without a mind. Something that moves but does not think. Women are banned from studying law, from civil engineering and from the sacrosanct area of oil. The writer of this article is trying to vocalize how wrong some of these practices are. In the UK very young girls are still covered up in hijabs. There have been many tries to attempt to eliminate some of these awful practices such as forced marriage, polygamny, honour killings, inequality, and childhood betrothals. This relates back to the story because it is all based around Muslim culture. The author herself is Muslim so she can relate to the stories of these other Muslim women. A quote from the book, "You know, that symbol of my faith" (Abdel-Fattah 24) relates to this article because it demonstrates how the Muslim women should be treated equally among everyone. If the women decide to wear the hijab or not, they should not be prosecuted for their actions.

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Islams Women - Hijab: Suppression or Liberation

Islams Women - Hijab: Suppression or Liberation | Does My Head Look Big In This? | Scoop.it
The Muslim Woman Status, Rights, Hijab, Marriage, and More
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This article taken from the Muslim Women's website relates to the book because it talks all about the hijab and what it actually is. This fits perfectly with the theme of the book because throughout the whole story she is deciding whether or not to wear the hijab full time. This article explains why Muslim women wear the hijab and the importance of it. Muslim women wear the hijab because Allah has told them to do so. Other secondary reasons include the requirement for modesty in both men and women. A Muslim woman who covers her head is making a statement about her identity. Anyone who sees her will know that she is a Muslim and has a good moral character. Many Muslim women who cover are filled with dignity and self esteem; they are pleased to be identified as a Muslim woman. A woman who covers herself is concealing her sexuality but allowing her femininity to be brought out.

Like I said earlier in the summary, this article is a perfect fit for the book "Does My Head Look Big In This?" Throughout the entire story Amal is struggling with a lot issues between her opinions clashing with everyone elses. Amal is dead set on wearing the hijab as a full timer, but the feedback she is getting from her family and some of her friends is not too positive. After she explains to everyone the importance it has to her, they finally accept her decision. This article actually helped me understand the book more because it went into further detail on the importance that the hijab has on Muslim women. A quote from the book, "But at the same time I feel like my passion and conviction in Islam are bursting inside me and I want to prove to myself that I'm strong enough to wear a badge of my faith" (Abdel-Fattah 7). This quote relates to the article because it really stresses the importance the hijab has on the Muslim culture.

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Palestine

Palestine | Does My Head Look Big In This? | Scoop.it

This is a map of Palestine. The main character of the story, Amal, is an AUstralian0Palestinian girl that is living in the suburb of Melbourne. Even though she is not from Palestine, I chose to share a map of this country because that is where her culture of people is from. Also a lot of my research was done on Muslim and Islamic women.

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Does My Head Look Big In This?

Does My Head Look Big In This? | Does My Head Look Big In This? | Scoop.it

When sixteen-year-old Amal decides to wear the hijab full-time, her entire world changes, all because of a piece of cloth...Sixteen-year-...

 

SUMMARY:
In the book, "Does My Head Look Big In This?" the main character, Amal, feels a lot of cultural struggle. Amal is an Australian Palistinian-Muslim girl who lives in Melbourne with her father, Doctor Mohamed, and mother, Dentist Jamila. She is sixteen years old and has always grown up into a Muslim family. During the winter break before her second semester at McCleans Preparatory School, Amal debates wearing the hijab as a full timer. After a lot of arguments with her family, school, and friends, she finally decides to wear the hijab to school. At first everyone judges her for her decision, but in the end everyone accepts her for the great girl that she is. Throughout the book, Amal faces a lot of struggles with her friends but in the end, Amal realizes it is the different and imperfect immigrants who are her friends and family and who have shaped who she is and who she will become in the future.
THEME:
I think the theme of this book would be acceptance. Amal is going through a very rough stage in her life, trying to decide what kind of person she wants to grow up to be. She can't decide whether she should completely commit to her religion or if she's not brave enough face the judgement from everyone she knows. She finally decides to follow her heart and do what she thinks is best for her. Her true friends finally accept and support her decision to wear the hijab as a full timer. "I mean, it's hard enough being an Arab Muslim at a new school with your hair tumbling down your shoulders. Shawling up is just plain psychotic" (Abdel-Fattah 6). This quote really relates to the theme because it deals with struggle for identity.
REVIEW:
In my opinion, I thought this book was alright. I wouldn't really reccommend it to anyone because it was very repetitive and predictable. In particular for this project, I would not suggest this book because it doesn't offer a lot of insight about the religion or the culture. There could definitely be more history added that would make it easier for research. Besides all of that overall it was an interesting book to read.

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Does My Head Look Big In This? - Book Trailer

This video is to be used for educational purposes only. Video book trailer for Does My Head Look Big In This? was created by Ellie Coen Boote for a Young Adu...
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This YouTube video shows a trailer to the book "Does My Head Look Big In This?" It basically summarizes the whole book and lets the audience know that the book is about a teenage girl that is just trying to fit in, but still stick to her faith at the same time. It goes through all the main parts of the book and keeps the audience intrigued.

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Wearing a head scarf is my choice as a Muslim; please respect it

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This article from The Austin American-Statesman was written by Mariam Rahmani, a Muslim girl just about to start her senior year of high school in Kent, Ohio. Seven years ago she made her own personal decision to begin wearing the hijab full time. At the root of hijab is the philosophy that a woman should be regarded for her personality, mind and abilities rather than her physicality. According to Mariam, wearing the hijab reminds her to not focus on the superficial and instead to channel her energies towards developing her character and intellect. She believes that this helps her capture the spirit of independent thought. Mariam has believed that the Western culture has gotten the wrong perception of the symbolism of the hijab. Many view it s a symbol of male oppression.

In reality, a hijab enables a woman to maintain her dignity. It helps her demand respect as an equal of any man rather than as an object for his pleasure. The negative association Westerners have of hijab is that weak or brainwashed Muslim girls are forced by their families to wear it. Mariam is trying to express her thoughts that the Western society should respect the Muslim women's decision to wear the hijab. They are not asking Western woman to do the same, but just accept that that is a part of their culture. All in all, no one should suffer discrimination because we choose different paths to achieve these common goals. This also relates back to the book because Amal's story (from the book) is almost similar to that of Mariam. They are going through the same thing and facing the same issues. The quote from the book, "I guess when I'm not wearing the hijab I feel like I'm missing out. I feel cheated out of that special bond" (Abdel-Fattah 8). What Amal is experiencing is very similar to what, Miriam, from the article, is dealing with.

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Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)

Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) | Does My Head Look Big In This? | Scoop.it

RAWA is an independent political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women's rights in fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan. RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, was established in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1977 as an independent political/social organization of Afghan women fighting for human rights and for social justice in Afghanistan. Before the Moscow-directed coup d’état of April 1978 in Afghanistan, RAWA’s activities were confined to agitation for women’s rights and democracy, but after the coup and particularly after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in December 1979, RAWA became directly involved in the war of resistance. Today RAWA's mission for women's rights is far from over and we have to work hard for establishment of an independent, free, democratic and secular Afghanistan  

 

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Wanting Mor

Wanting Mor | Does My Head Look Big In This? | Scoop.it

I chose this book to compare with "Does My Head Look Big In This?" because they are similar. The main character of this story, Jameela, live in a poor, war-torn village in Afghanistan. Jameela is sustained by her Muslim faith until her mother, Mor, dies. Her father tries to start a new life and Jameela's life starts to go downhill. She struggles through a lot but the memory of her mother keeps her going and not giving up. Jameela really struggles to keep her identity and self-understanding.

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Dispatches - Beneath The Veil

A documentary created by Dispathces, which was shot just before the Afghanistan war and was to focus on the plight of women under the rule of the taliban. Is...

 

The documentary I chose was "Beneath The Veil." This is an undercover documentary film about the Taleban movement in Afghanistan that shows executions and some insight to all of the things that Afghan women have to go through on a daily basis. Reporter Saira Shah dresses in a veil and uses a hidden camera to film life for ordinary Afghan under the Taleban. The Channel Four crew went undercover and were helped by an underground women's group, the RAWA, which runs secret clinics and schools for girls. In disguise, Ms. Shah was able to able to see everything about the women's lives and record the awful conditions in which they live. Because the Taleban restricted women from working, they are forced into begging in order to support themselves and their families. Members of the RAWA risk their lives by running secret schools for girls and some women also set up underground beauty parlours in their apartments.
This documentary went hand in hand with my book, even though it was a little more on an extreme level. In the story the main character deals with a lesser form of discrimination for being a Muslim girl from the environment she was raised in. While the documentary shows you the real deal of how Muslim women have to live, this is more of the American version that is not even comparable. I chose this documentary because it gives you insight of where the Muslim culture even comes from and why the women are the way they are.

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