Posted on Jun 06, 2013
June's Hijabi of the Month are sisters Heba and Farah Jalloul. You may know them from instagram @farah_jay and @heba_jay. They were born and raised in Dearborn, Michigan. Heba, 23 and Farah, 22 both attended Wayne State University and graduated with bachelor degrees in Psychology. Heba is currently taking classes at Wayne State for pre-pharmacy, and Farah is attending the University of Detroit Mercy where she is enrolled in the Nursing program. Farah and Heba believe that one can be fashionable while staying modest at the same time and they hope to inspire others with their fashion sense.
1) When did you start wearing hijab?
We both started wearing the hijab at the age of 9. We grew up in Dearborn, MI, a city heavily populated with Arabs and Muslims. It was not uncommon to wear the hijab at such a young age because we are surrounded by people who share the same beliefs as us. Most of our friends and family wear the hijab so it was really easy for us to wear it as well. It never felt like a burden, everyone was welcoming and never made us feel like an outcast. It's always been extremely comforting to live in such a tight-knit community.
2) What do you love most about wearing hijab?
We love that we are able to practice our beliefs through wearing modest clothing. The hijab helps bring us closer to our religion and morals and, furthermore, guides us toward modesty in our actions. This really empowers and motivates us. At the same time, we are able to express our personalities through our choices in fashion. We also feel that we are more respected wearing the hijab and it especially shows by the way we are treated.
3) Tell us what it's like to live in Dearborn, Michigan.
Living in Dearborn is a blessing. Dearborn has the largest concentration of Arabs outside the Middle East and one of the biggest Muslim communities in the United States. Life here is easy because the majority of people living in this city understand why we dress the way we do so we never feel uncomfortable. Halal restaurants are on every street corner, we have an abundance of mosques, and our community is like our second family.
4) What is your go-to oufit as a hijabi?
Heba: My go-to outfit as a hijabi during the summer would definitely have to be maxi dresses. That's what I wear all summer long because it's really light and keeps me cool. It's also a very quick outfit to put together while still looking fashionable and staying comfortable. When wearing a maxi dress I like to pair it up with a jean jacket or even a cardigan; I then add a cute pair of sandals and hold my everyday bag. If you're not a into bigger purses, a small cross body would work too. It gets very hot during the summer so finding a hijabi outfit that works in the scorching weather is a must!
Farah: As a hijabi my go-to outfit is usually always a comfortable pair of trousers with a colorful blouse. Layering in the summertime for a hijabi can be quite annoying since it gets so hot, so that's something I try to avoid. I love wearing cardigans on top of my blouses. Different printed cardigans that are striped, polka-dot, or floral would go perfect with a pair of trousers. I then pair it with my most comfortable flats and a cross body bag to carry some of my essentials such as my wallet, phone and sunglasses. This way I can stay cool and comfortable during the summer when it gets too hot during the not so hijabi friendly weather.
5) What is one motto or statement that you live by?
Heba: "Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." -- William Penn
Farah: "As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good I was actually being redirected to something better." -- Steve Maraboli
6) If you could give one piece of advice to someone struggling with hijab, what would it be?
For those girls who are having difficulties with hijab and are questioning whether they still wish to wear it, we strongly encourage them to reconnect with their religion and hopefully it will lead them down the right path to self enlightenment. Worldly desires often lead you to question whether wearing a hijab is the right decision for you. However, as one of our favorite authors said: "Holding onto dunya, (worldly desires) creates a veil that blocks light from entering the heart. When you stop chasing dunya and let go, you remove that veil. When the veil is removed, light can enter the heart." Thus, the light of faith transforms and strengthens in addition to removing any doubts you might have. Just like praying and fasting, wearing a hijab becomes one pathway to fulfilling the teachings of your religion. Hijab should not hinder or impede one's actions, dreams, or goals.
Is there someone you'd like to nominate for HOTM? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.