Hijab or Mickey Mouse?



I received a straw bag from Mamiko and Lorenzo on Monday. The couple who live in Dubai, visited Oman for a holiday and chanced upon this bag with a really interesting print. “We laughed when we saw this bag, and thought it might look quite stylish on you.” they wrote.

I inspected the print. It features an attractive Arab woman, conservatively covered from head to top in a hijab and pushing a baggage trolley. She stands in a spotless Western style kitchen with electric hobs and a large fridge. On top of the fridge hangs a picture of Mickey Mouse.

It’s such a brilliant depiction of the lives of many rich modern Arabs. They are well travelled, whether to Europe or Southeast Asia. Some are better off than people in the West. They are able to indulge in Western luxuries, from branded handbags to expensive household appliances. They take their kids to Disneyland and buy them cute cartoon soft toys.

The woman in the hijab in this photo looks somewhat displaced when juxtaposed with the Western items in the background. By wearing the hijab and perhaps the veil, she demonstrates that she is still very much an authentic Muslim woman who embraces her roots and religion.

Many have interpreted women in hijab as an ideal symbol of anti-imperialist resistance. However, by embracing the Western lifestyle, I can’t help but think her hijab is the only thing she has to remind herself of what she is supposed to be.

Because she has resisted but succumbed to imperialism, or worse, Americanism. 

Explore posts in the same categories: Life

One Comment on “Hijab or Mickey Mouse?”

  1. Aclarkson Says:

    couldnt agree more

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