Comedian and poet Kate Fox has hosted a talk on the hijab at Teesside University.
The evening, which took place at at The Hub Students’ Union building, saw local women from the North East share their experience of wearing the controversial head scarf.
Tabinda Hussain, a writer and editor, was a co-host at this event. She explained: “To me wearing hijab has been an experience of empowerment.”
The debate centred on whether wearing the hijab brought on feelings of oppression or freedom in Muslim women.
Tabinda further added that: “When I wear the hijab I feel protected and to me it acts as an identity.”
Noreen, an undergraduate student at Teesside university, said: “This is a really great event. I have been excited by the inspiring stories told by Muslim ladies here.”
Ikra, who is a student at Macmillan Academy, explained: “Such an event is not just for Muslim ladies, I encourage every lady to take part in such talks when they take place.”
It was an evening of emotional and inspiring stories. Experiences differed between individuals who told their stories. Others claimed hijab wearing was a symbol of their beliefs. Others said that it was bringing too much attention to them – especially here in the UK where most of people are Westernised.
Qurat-Al-Un stated that: “This has not been a simple thing for me here, most of the times people stare at me and sometimes they even make funny jokes of my Islamic dressing style. I feel oppressed.”
The event was sponsored by IDC North East and it was strictly for women aged eight years and above. However boys under 11 years were allowed too.