Free hijabs: Islamic veils available tomorrow on Nicollet Avenue

Mohamed is studying public health and business at St. Kate's.
Mohamed is studying public health and business at St. Kate's.

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Thanks to a grant from the Minnesota Community Foundation totaling at least $5,000, free hijabs will be distributed Saturday afternoon along Nicollet Mall.

The giveaway is the brainchild of Fatuma Mohamed, a north Minneapolis woman who applied for the grant as part of the Minnesota Idea Open. Mohamed says she wants all women, Muslim or not, to feel comfortable with the veil that is commonly worn throughout much of the Islamic world.

Mohamed, explaining the thought process behind the event, told the TC Daily Planet that she wants "people to experience wearing the headdress -- [that's] better than just talking about it."

"I want no mystery about the headdress," she added. "Hijab is about being seen and heard for who we are, not about our bodies."

While a senior at South High in Minneapolis during the spring of 2011, Mohamed created a women's group called Sunnah Sisters. Members of that organization, along with volunteers from other faiths, plan to hang out along Nicollet Mall throughout the afternoon and give away hundreds of the headdresses.

According to the BBC, "Hijab is an Arabic word meaning barrier or partition."

"In Islam, however, it has a broader meaning. It is the principle of modesty and includes behaviour as well as dress for both males and females."

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