Dania Amaira is a Registered Dietitian at DaVita who currently lives in Chicago, IL. She is married and has a six year old daughter and just welcomed her newborn baby boy Amir into the world. Dania enjoys exercising, cooking, traveling, and has a deep passion for teaching nutrition. Here's what she had to say about hijab:
What does the hijab mean to me?
The Hijab to me is a way of life. It is my daily reminder of who I am and what I believe in. Every time I look in the mirror, I am reminded of my morals, values, and of the character that I thrive to achieve. My hijab sets me apart from others and allows me to shine beyond measure. I feel like it gives me the opportunity to show the world what I am capable of and gives everyone a chance to respect me for who I am and what I can accomplish and NOT just my physical appearance.
What inspires you to wear the Hijab?
The positive encounters and experiences I have had while wearing the hijab are what truly inspire me to continue wearing it with confidence. I truly believe that if it wasn't for my hijab I would not have had the same success all throughout college and my professional career. In the past, so many of my co-workers, supervisors, and students have come up to me and told me they think that I am a beautiful person inside and out or that they love my hijab. I have a deep appreciation for my hijab because it makes me feel unique and that I am one of a kind person, especially at work.
A second inspiration for me is being able to spread the word of God through my Hijab without even having to say a single word. With my Hijab and actions alone I have been able to show non-Muslims what Islam is really about and how much respect Islam has for women. I love that I am able to accomplish this without having to utter a single word. I truly believe that as women in Islam we were given the beautiful gift of Hijab from Allah (s) to accomplish so much and spread our beautiful religion in a non-aggressive and beautiful manner. My hijab sparks so many conversations that allow me to share with others just how much we have in common.
What advice do you have for those struggling with it?
The first piece of advice I have for woman struggling with hijab is to avoid blaming your hijab for not succeeding in something. I know many times it is easy for us to feel that we didn't get a job because of our hijab or that we received a dirty look because of our hijab, but this mindset will only drive a wedge between you and your love for your Hijab.
Secondly, I think that is is important to surround yourself with friends who where the Hijab so that you can feel more confident and comfortable with your appearance.
Thirdly, I believe in the powder of Duaa, so make it a habit to pray for strength and confidence every day. Always renew your intentions and ask God to make your Hijab a way for you to spread his beautiful religion.
Lastly, Don't wait for others to initiate a conversation or take a glance at you and judge you. Always be the first one to smile, help, or strike a conversation. Due to the media and current events so many people have false ideas about Muslim women and the hijab so they might be hesitant to speak to you or even smile, but when you show them just how friendly and pleasant you are they will be more open to engage in a conversation and who knows just how much you will be able to change their mind.
Would you like to be a part of the PFH Hijab Movement? Send us your responses to the above three questions at getPFH@gmail.com for a chance to be featured!