UBC’s Muslim Students’ Association (MSA), which advocates for the “representative voice of Islam and Muslims” on campus, held an event to celebrate World Hijab Day on the bottom floor of the Nest today.
There, students interested in learning more about Islam could speak with club representatives — and even try on one of the headscarves — to learn more about the religion and culture. Visitors were also welcome to write messages on heart-shaped sticky notes to post behind the table.
“What it’s about is just to raise awareness because there have been a lot of attacks on Muslim women who are wearing the hijab,” said first-year student Amina Ibrahim, a sister social coordinator in the MSA. “This is a way to put on a hijab for someone who has never tried it before … and to meet a Muslim person, talk to a Muslim person, see what they’re about.”
For Ibrahim, the hijab is an integral part of her personality.
“I wear it proudly because in an environment like Canada where there are so many different kinds of people coming from all over, this reminds me of who I am, and it reminds me to hold onto that and never let it go,” she said.
Ibrahim noted the importance of meeting face to face with people from different cultures in order to deepen understanding. Questions were encouraged at the event — and cupcakes provided.
“Some people have honestly never met a Muslim person, which is kind of alarming for me ’cause I just grew up with so many of them around me,” she said.
Ibrahim said the reaction from students has been “amazing” so far.
“There have been some students who just wanted to come and show their support, and post on that wall their messages to Muslims. For others, it’s just a chance to get to wear the hijab for the rest of the day and see what that’s like — to be in a Muslim’s shoes. It’s been honestly all positive and all smiles.”