Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 27, 2010--Global Pink Hijab Day! Muslims and Breast Cancer Awareness

Today, when I was doing some errands, I saw 2 women sitting together with some male friends enjoying the sunshine. Both women were wearing jet black cloaks, and shocking pink head scarves. Then I walked through a mall behind a woman in a jet black jellabah, and a very  soft pink large head scarf with a fringe in the same colour. When our paths crossed, she gave me a little smile as if I should understand. I just smiled back. It was a good reminder to complete my posts on Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer in Saudi Arabia. On my way to pictification, I discovered what I was supposed to understand. Today is Pink Hijab Day! 

The information below, and the video are courtesy of the Ryerson University Muslim Students Association website on Pink Hijab Day.

Pink Hijab Day is designed to encourage Muslim women and men to participate in breast cancer awareness activities. The event also encourages the curious to ask Muslim women about their Hijabs, or Islamic headscarves.

All over the world, Muslims participated by wearing pink hijabs, pink ribbons, and donating to breast cancer foundations.

How did Pink Hijab Day Start?
Pink Hijab Day began in 2004 in a small high school in Columbia, Missouri. A group of girls decided to wear pink hijabs one day to encourage others to ask questions about their hijabs and about Islam. After more and more people began participating, the Susan G. Komen Foundation was conacted and Pink Hijab Day had its start.

What is the purpose of Pink Hijab Day?
1) To raise awareness and funds for cancer foundations across the globe.
2) To encourage the curious to ask questions about Hijab to better understand Muslim women
3) To encourage Muslims to participate in activism that reaches beyond religious, ethnic, and national borders.

Who can participate in Pink Hijab Day?
Anyone! Anyone can wear a pink item, whether it's a pink Hijab, a pink ribbon, or pink socks. In 2008, a group of students in Canada dyed kufis and wore pink kufis. Even if you don't wear anything pink, you can donate to any local cancer foundation to make a difference.

What can I do for Pink Hijab Day?
The list is endless! Here is a list of a few ideas:
Wear a pink hijab, ribbon, shirt, shoelace...ANYTHING!
Donate to a local cancer research organization
Organize a walk, or join a local walk for cancer
Encourage the Imam at your masjid to focus his khutba on issues related social activism, health, and breast cancer
Send the press release to local media outlets
Organize a panel discussing women in Islam, Hijab, and/or Islam and social activism
Contact your local Islamic School or MSA to participate in the project
Distribute information about breast cancer prevention and general health
Text/email all of your friends about Pink Hijab Day!

Multiple countries in MENA are participating, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, UAE, etc. See a list here.

Donations in Saudi Arabia can go to: Zahra Breast Cancer Association

More on the origin of Pink Hijab Day, and contemporary activities, in an article and a brief audio slideshow of the event at the U of Missouri (Columbia), including an interview with one of the original teenaged pink hijabis, Hend El-Buri, who later founded Pink Hijab Day. The material is courtesy of regular commentator, blogger Jaraad of Jaraad!

Hend El-buri, a senior from Columbia and a member of the MU Muslim Student's Organization, works at the group's Pink Hijab day table outside Memorial Union.

Zahra Resool, a freshman from India, works on an intricate henna tattoo during National Pink Hijab Day outside of Memorial Union on Wednesday. Resool is a member of the MU Muslim Student's Organization which worked to raise awareness about breast cancer, as well as try to dismantle stereotypes surrounding Muslim women.

More on Breast Cancer to follow!

Were you aware of Pink Hijab Day?
Did you participate?
Do you think it is a good idea?
Any other comments, thoughts, impressions?


jaraad said...

I study at University of Missouri - Columbia. I know one of those sisters who started the Pink Hijab day. Every year, the Muslim Student Organization (MSO) in Columbia organizes an event for the Pink Hijab Day. Here is an audio slide show for the event last year including an interview with a sister who established this Pink Hijab Day.
I am happy you mentioned Columbia in your blog :)

Chiara said...

Jaraad--Thanks very much! I have added the material to the original post. Your comment and link were very enriching! Kudos to the University of Missouri-Columbia MSO! Thanks again!

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