Stories about community | Next Generation Radio at USC Annenberg 2016
March 18, 2016
How One Palestinian-American Woman Combines Fashion with Tradition
Mirvette Judeh, a Los Angeles resident, puts on her headscarf, also known as a hijab. She started wearing the hijab on April 3, 2015, in solidarity with other Muslim women.
As a woman who wears the hijab, Mirvette has a lot of scarves from all over the world. Here, she organizes them.
As a Palestinian-American, Mirvette stays true to her heritage. Here she can be seen holding a Palestinian-made dress. The red stitching on the front is a classic Palestinian pattern.
Mirvette pulls out a dress made in the United Arab Emirates. The intricate detailing on the front is a classic Emirati style.
Mirvette holds up an abaya, the traditional black, dress-like garment Arab women wear. This piece, made by the Egyptian company Abayology, is a modern take on this outfit.
Here, Mirvette shows her dress, made in the Saudi Arabian style. The thin material helps keep her cool, while the detailing on the front adds a bit of “bling.”
Mirvette says people’s reactions to her make her feel uncomfortable when she’s shopping in new places. “It’s almost like you’re introducing a foreign object, and so everybody wants to look at you. I truly believe it’s because I have a scarf on my head.”
When in public, Mirvette is careful to present herself in a positive light. “I just feel like I have to be perfect because I’m wearing the hijab, because society will judge my entire religion for something I didn’t do right.”
Mirvette has encouraged her children to appreciate both their American and Arab cultures. They pray together five times a day and speak fluent Arabic.
Mirvette’s seven-year-old daughter, Aya, supported her mother when she first started wearing the hijab. “I’m looking at myself in the mirror, and Aya goes in the closet and says, ‘mama, if you want, I’ll put it on too, so that you don’t feel uncomfortable.’ It was just so beautiful,” Mirvette said, overcome with emotion.