ALRAID

ALL-UKRAINIAN ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL ORGANISATIONS

Oppression or freedom: Social Experiment in Odesa Downtown

05.02.2018 / 245

Amazement, excitement, disbelief “Is that really me?” — those were the emotions one could read on the faces of Odesa women who volunteered and took part in an experiment dedicated to World Hijab Day. Odessa Muslimahs set their stand in the City garden on 3 February, and invited everyone to try on a headscarf, collect their free copies of books on the basics of Islam, calendars, or just drink some Arabic coffee and have a friendly chatter.

Dwo dozen of women tried the new look on, with the initiative sometimes coming not only from the ladies, but from their male companions as well. People, regardless of their age and sex, wanted to learn more about the reasons for dressing modestly and covering one’s head. Everyone who volunteered to try a headscarf on, got that set of scarf and underscarf as a gift. The women told that they had never imagined what they looked like in a headscarf, and shared their surprise of not feeling “oppressed” in it, but rather comfortable.

Another themed event took place on Sunday, 4 February, this time at the local Islamic Cultural Centre. The agenda covered a lecture on the importance of modest clothing for pious women, a tea party with sweets baked and made by the ladies themselves, and a benefit where ladies could give away or exchange headscarfs they weren’t using any more.

    

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