Unveiled: Why I wear the headscarf

Over the years, I’ve heard the perfectly respectful 'headscarf', the culturally sensitive 'hijab', the slightly ominous 'veil', or my personal all-time favourite: the utterly bewildered 'head toga'...

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Randomly Searching For Truth: reflections from across the pond

The disembodied lady makes an announcement. ‘Passengers on the BA 292 flight to Baltimore, please make your way to the boarding gate.'  I've come with my most non-threatening scarf, pale pink with paisley print. It's not good enough. 'Irfan' is announced on the loudspeaker. I feel special. The disembodied voice knows who I am...

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When Shakespeare meets Bollywood

Anyone who's ever had the misfortune to be in my English class will have heard the words "well, in the Bollywood version..." Shakespeare's plays have been adapted the world over; in India, Othello becomes Omkara, Hamlet is Haider, and Romeo and Juliet are Ram-Leela.  While the East has its own versions of the tragic love story, most notably Layla and... Continue Reading →

Why I don’t need ‘empowering’

So, my school slapped my face onto a marketing poster. It's a (mostly) candid photo of me studying outside with my earphones in, head down, rocking a peach headscarf that just screams 'we have diversity!' My initial reaction was naturally your typical teenage-girly embarrassment, before alarm bells went off in my head, as I noticed... Continue Reading →

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