This music video by Syrian-American artist, Mona Haydar, discusses some of the stereotypes, challenges, joys, and power that come with being Hijabi, or a woman who wears a Hijab. The song invokes Edward Said’s theory of Orientalism, which argues that non-Western people are framed by the West as “Others” who are either valued or reviled based upon their “exotic” identity. Haydar pushes against the idea that Hijabi are somehow exotic or strange, highlighting the wide variety of countries and cultures that Hijabi come from.
What are some of the stereotypes or assumptions about people who wear hijab that Haydar references in this song, and how does the video push against them?
What are some of the messages about women’s bodies that are present in this song/video? What is the connection between femininity, power and the hijab that this song makes?
In what parts of the world do women wear hijab according to the song’s lyrics? How is this diversity of place represented by the women in the video?
What was your original reaction to a Hijabi woman rapping? Why did you react that way?