By Daynie Rivera
The Muslim Student Association (MSA) spent the day enticing students walking by the Bronco Student Center to take on the Hijab challenge.
A Hijab is an Arabic word meaning ‘cover’ and is the name given to head covering typically worn by some Muslim women.
“We are here today to show people what a hijab really is and why we decide to wear it,” fourth-year student double majoring in international business and marketing, and vice president of MSA Warda Ahmed said.
The MSA showcased a variety of hijabs ranging from different fabrics and styles, to different colors and sizes, and those who participated were also able to keep it as a gift.
World Hijab Day is celebrated every year on the first day of February, and the MSA thought it was the perfect opportunity to bring the celebration to Cal Poly Pomona Thursday, Feb. 1 at University Park.
The World Hijab Day nonprofit organization states February 1, 2013 marked the first annual celebration of its kind.
WHD was created by a social activist named Nazma Khan who states she created the event “as a means to foster religious tolerance and understanding by inviting women (non-Hijabi Muslims/non-Muslims) to experience the hijab for one day.”
“I wear a hijab because I want people to know that we are not oppressed but liberated, and I like when people can only judge me by my personality,” first-year mechanical engineering student Zareen Ahmed said.
The MSA looks to end the discrimination, stereotypes and fake information surrounding women who decide to wear a hijab.
Wearing a hijab is a personal choice that varies among Muslim women. Some wear it around any adult man who is not a member of their family, and others only wear it while praying.
The MSA states as a multicultural club, its goal is to create a comfortable environment for Muslims across the campus, and to build a friendly and safe environment where people can learn what it means to be a Muslim.
“I feel good wearing it, and I like learning about the modesty behind it as it proves that there is much more to women than just their body,” graduate student in business administration Celeste Banaag said.
For many Muslim women wearing a hijab is a not about oppression, religion or culture, but rather about the honor and pride they feel in upholding modesty.
Wearing a hijab helps people look beyond external characteristics such as sexual appearance and puts focus on their intelligence and personality. “I started wearing a hijab in college, and I’ve always wanted to because I believe in being seen for more than just my exterior,” Warda Ahmed said.
The MSA looks forward to creating a more positive outlook on the use of the hijab in society.
Hijab Day was hosted by the CPP Women’s Resource Center in support of the MSA’s effort to educate and empower Muslim women.
If you missed out on this year’s celebration, or would like to learn more about the MSA, students to may visit the MSA at the Office of Student Life and Cultural Centers.
Albert Muro / The Poly Post
Students gathered outside the BSC to participate in the Hijab challenge and learn more about the tradition
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