Blogging U: Day 1 – “What is Veiling?”

Cover of book What is Veiling?I just signed up for Blogging U sponsored by WordPress.com. This is a four week course with daily assignments to help people find their voice for writing on their blogs. Since I have a blog and am also setting up a couple of websites for groups who are also looking at ways to post their information, I thought it might be a good idea to see what I could learn.

This is the first assignment. It is to do free writing for twenty minutes without anything particular in mind to get loosened up. So here goes.

I am going to start out with a book I am currently reading. I am about done with it and would like to post a good review on GoodReads. The book is titled What is Veiling? By Sahar Amer. It is a wonderfully eye-opening look at the varied ways in which Muslim women wear, or do not wear, a veil. As a westerner, I like many others, have little knowledge of this long-standing custom that has come under such scrutiny in the last few decades. I know the custom is somehow associated with the Muslim religion, but until I read this book, I had no idea how it has evolved and changed over the centuries. When I stop to think about it, it is not so foreign. Until the last few decades Catholic nuns have followed the custom too. I have even thought about how practical it would be on bad hair days.

The term veiling is a general term that has many nuances and many differing ways of manifesting itself. The book includes a glossary of many terms that are used for different ways of veiling, often varying by country, class, and social status, that may include anything from robes and face veils that completely cover the body, to a scarf draped over the hair. And it is done by women for many different reasons, from piety to taking a stand for liberating women to dress as they would like to.

As a result of reading this book, which is thorough, non-judgmental, and presented by a woman who is both Muslim and a scholar, I have learned much and am fascinated to learn more from Muslim women I encounter. They, like the rest of us, are concerned about the same things we all face. I would definitely recommend this book as a good read indeed.

I had no idea what I would write about when I started this about twenty minutes ago. And I am going to post this unedited, which is not what I usually do. I usually start this way, let an article sit a day or two and go back and try to tighten it up. But this is fun! Hope you look up the book.

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