It hasn’t been simple for Safaa Bokhari to follow her religion as a Muslim lady in America. The mother, who lives in Oakland, Pennsylvania, stated she’s been verbally harassed for carrying a scarf.
However Bokhari is hoping that when it’s time for her daughter, Salma Bokhari, to resolve whether or not or to not put on the headband, will probably be safer world for Muslim ladies.
That’s why the 30-year-old Muslim mom is teaming up with a neighborhood group in Pittsburgh to launch Hello Hijab, a tiny scarf that can be utilized on Barbies and different youngsters’s toys.
Bokhari instructed The Huffington Publish that she hopes Good day Hijab will probably be utilized by each Muslims and non-Muslims, in order that youngsters get used to the sight of ladies carrying the scarf.
“The concept of youngsters and ladies taking part in with the hijab and the hijab changing into one thing typical, I believe it is going to make a distinction sooner or later,” Bokhari stated. “It gained’t be an issue for my daughter, if she needs to put on hijab, it wouldn’t be thought of one thing unusual.”
Bokhari and her pal, Gisele Fetterman, each have 5-year-old daughters who like taking part in with dolls.
Fetterman got here up with the thought to create a doll-sized scarf that children can use throughout playtime, with the proceeds from the gross sales going to charity.
Bokhari stated she was on board with the challenge.
“I used to be very completely satisfied as a result of, you realize, you possibly can’t be artistic if you happen to’re scared,” she instructed The Huffington Publish.
Bokhari and Fetterman discovered a Muslim seamstress in Pittsburgh who may create the scarves. The 2 moms got here up with an academic card that explains what the hijab means to the Muslim ladies who put on it ― and why it’s necessary to have a good time variety.
Starting on April 1, Good day Hijab will probably be accessible to order for $6 on the web site For Good PGH. The hijabs will are available a number of colours and patterns. Some will probably be produced from donated hijabs worn by Muslim ladies.
In line with Fetterman, 100 % of proceeds will probably be given to organizations just like the Islamic Heart of Pittsburgh and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Fetterman hopes the product will attain youngsters of many backgrounds. Her dream is for each college and daycare that has dolls to have one doll that appears like a Muslim lady.
“I need little ladies to see their moms in these dolls, for youths everywhere in the world to play them. I need American youngsters to turn into accustomed to hijabs,” Fetterman stated.
When Bokhari first got here to America from Saudi Arabia in 2013, she wore an abaya (a free full-body garment), a scarf, and a veil that lined her face. She stated her spiritual apparel drew stares and detrimental feedback from strangers.
Bokhari selected to cease carrying an abaya in 2016, as an alternative carrying a scarf over garments like a long-sleeved shirt and denims. However the concern of discrimination hasn’t gone away.
“Even the headband is changing into an issue now,” Bokhari stated. “I really feel scared on a regular basis, to be sincere.”
The hijab is much more than an adjunct ― it’s additionally a non secular idea, one which encompasses how Muslims work together with the world. Though all of that is laborious to signify with Good day Hijab, Bokhari stated she doesn’t thoughts.
“If it will get the objective that I need for my daughter, it’s okay with me,” she stated. “The concept of the challenge is simply that individuals get used to the hijab in order that it may turn into simpler for girls to put on it.”