Masks prose without links
When last I visited India almost a decade ago
I recall riding on my brother's scooter
as he drove me around town,
And I saw fully veiled Muslim women
half their faces veiled, masked in Niqab
driving scooters, motorbikes, mopeds and motorcycles.
I also recall some women also covering half their faces with their dupattas
but their bodies were not covered up properly,
their arms and skin exposed since they were not wearing the Islamic burka cloaks and overcoats
and I remember asking about them to my brother
who had answered that they were Hindus, thus not wearing the hijab gowns but still veiling their hair and half their faces like Muslims do
and I had remarked wow, they are not Muslims yet covering their hair
and faces like us niqabiz and hijabeez
but to protect from dust, dust mites and other traffic pollutants and irritants
while we Muslim women veil half our faces and hair also to protect as well from the germs of lust, the virus of lewdness and leery stares.
Well, well now in these pandemic covid 19 virus times
people in many places in the world have now been wearing face masks
as the virus strikes and attacks
ESP those countries where the Muslim face veils had been banned and niqabi women mistreated.
Now the globular ball seems to be having a masquerade ball
where masks are the in thing for bare necessity
and baring the full face is risky for all.
I can't help saying yippee
I may hum like a hippy!
For now in these masking times few will frown and look down
upon our face veiling Niqab masks.
Both Muslims and non Muslims give us face veiled women a break
where we can breathe free,
without our masks being opposed, criticised or snatched
since there are Muslims too who had turned against this fine soft shield known as Niqab.
Authorities everywhere are less likely to ban and give trouble to us masked women like before because wearing a mask first protects others from the corona virus than the wearer herself.
And now even men are wearing masks, so now we have support from both genders.
and less people will give us hijabees a hard time as they had been doing lately before corona.
The ninja Niqab face mask was fast disappearing even among Muslim women prior to corona
but now it has become quite a global necessary item of protection and prevention of the spread of disease.
I feel everyone ought to wear face masks for general protection from viruses, germs, bacteria, dust and environmental pollutants and irritants,
and there are helmets which motorcyclists don that veil and cover half or most of the face already
all over the world
so people shouldn't make a fuss at all about us niqabees and hijabees really.! ! !
Medieval European women used to wear black chiffon or georgette veils and I read of that in medieval plays and dramas as well.
In fact if you delve into historical literature you will find it was the medieval European non-Muslim women from the upper echelons of society, i.e the high ranking aristocratic elite women who wore head coverings and veils far more than the so called 'lower' rank women from the low social strata.
So I strongly feel all cultures ESP western societies should be more accepting of the Muslim hijab and Niqab veil masks.
I totally love love my Niqab, I am as attached to it as a turtle is to its shell and couldn't part from my face veil for a million dollars
and it is indeed a rare gem item of modesty even among Muslim women.
So now that face masks are back, yep yup hurray
what I can say is yeahh man, wow, hurrah and yay! !
Corona will teach the hard way that a woman in a mask and face veil can be an accomplished and awesome participant and citizen in service to society in general.
I don't know of any Muslim woman who is coerced into veiling the face,
I too wear the face covering veil outdoors of my own accord, by my own choice and out of my personal spiritual preference.
NB Footnotes: A Must AND Interesting Read Below!
'Covered Women? Veiling in Early Modern Europe | Susanna...
Already by the late middle ages, the term 'veil' had considerable semantic reach, ... This new, net-like hood meant that for the first time, as Jutta Zanker-Seidel has written.....Venetian women had been wearing a thin, black, veil...
A veil is an article of clothing or hanging cloth that is intended to cover some part of the head or face, or an object of some significance. Veiling has a long history in European, Asian, and African societies. The practice has been prominent in different forms in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The practice of veiling is especially associated with women and sacred objects..Besides its enduring religious significance, veiling continues to play a role in some modern secular contexts, such as wedding customs
NB Footnotes: A Must AND Interesting data on Western history of women veiling Wikipedia academia.edu Covered Women? Veiling in Early Modern Europe | Susanna... 'Already by the late middle ages, the term 'veil' had considerable semantic reach, ... This new, net-like hood meant that for the first time, as Jutta Zanker-Seidel has written.....Venetian women had been wearing a thin, black, veil... A veil is an article of clothing or hanging cloth that is intended to cover some part of the head or face, or an object of some significance. Veiling has a long history in European, Asian, and African societies. The practice has been prominent in different forms in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The practice of veiling is especially associated with women and sacred objects...
Besides its enduring religious significance, veiling continues to play a role in some modern secular contexts, such as wedding customs
Elite women in ancient Mesopotamia and in the Greek and Persian empires wore the veil as a sign of respectability and high status. The earliest attested reference to veiling is found a Middle Assyrian law code dating from between 1400 and 1100 BC. Assyria had explicit sumptuary laws detailing which women must veil and which women must not, depending upon the woman's class, rank, and occupation in society. Female slaves and prostitutes were forbidden to veil and faced harsh penalties if they did so.
Veiling was thus not only a marker of aristocratic rank, but also served to "differentiate between 'respectable' women and those who were publicly available (and low class)". The veiling of matrons was also customary in ancient Greece. Between 550 and 323 B.C.E respectable women in classical Greek society were expected to seclude themselves and wear clothing that concealed them from the eyes of strange men.
Classical Greek and Hellenistic statues sometimes depict Greek women with both their head and face covered by a veil. Caroline Galt and Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones have both argued from such representations and literary references that it was commonplace for women (at least those of higher status)in ancient Greece to cover their hair and face in public. Roman women were expected to wear veils as a symbol of the husband's authority over his wife; a married woman who omitted the veil was seen as withdrawing herself from marriage. NB S.Z.K.: (No wonder westerners are quick to think that the Muslim veil is also a symbol of man's authority over women because the European veil had a historical male authoritarian feature as a symbol of male domination)
In 166 BC, consul Sulpicius Gallus divorced his wife because she had left the house unveiled, thus allowing all to see, as he said, what only he should see. Unmarried girls normally didn't veil their heads, but matrons did so to show their modesty and chastity.. Veils also protected women against the evil eye, it was thought.
Intermixing of populations resulted in a convergence of the cultural practices of Greek, Persian, and Mesopotamian empires and the Semitic peoples of the Middle East. Veiling and seclusion of women appear to have established themselves among Jews and Christians, before spreading to urban Arabs of the upper classes and eventually among the urban masses. In the rural areas it was common to cover the hair, but not the face.
In Italy, veils, including face veils, were worn in some regions until the 1970s. Women in southern Italy often covered their heads to show that they were modest, well-behaved and pious. They generally wore a cuffia (cap) , then the fazzoletto (kerchief/head scarves)a long triangular or rectangular piece of cloth that could be tied in various way, and sometimes covered the whole face except the eyes, sometimes bende (lit. swaddles or a wimple underneath too.
For centuries, European women have worn sheer veils, but only under certain circumstances.. More pragmatically, veils were also sometimes worn to protect the complexion from sun and wind damage (when un-tanned skin was fashionable) , or to keep dust out of a woman's face, much as the keffiyeh(worn by men)is used today.
In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam the concept of covering the head is or was associated with propriety and modesty. Most traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ, show her veiled.
Lace face-veils are still often worn by female relatives at funerals in some Catholic countries. In Orthodox Judaism, married women cover their hair for reasons of modesty; many Orthodox Jewish women wear headscarves (tichel)for this purpose.
 Veiling gradually spread to upper-class Arab women, and eventually, it became widespread among Muslim women in cities throughout the Middle East. Veiling of Arab Muslim women became especially pervasive under Ottoman rule as a mark of rank and exclusive lifestyle, and Istanbul of the 17th century witnessed differentiated dress styles that reflected geographical and occupational identities. Women in rural areas were much slower to adopt veiling...15] Since wearing a veil was impractical for working women, "a veiled woman silently announced that her husband was rich enough to keep her idle." By the 19th century, upper-class urban Muslim and Christian women in Egypt wore a garment which included a head cover and a burqa (muslin cloth that covered the lower nose and the mouth) . Up to the first half of the twentieth century, rural women in the Maghreb and Egypt put on a face veil when they visited urban areas, "as a sign of civilization". The practice of veiling gradually declined in much of the Muslim world during the 20th century before making a comeback in recent decades. The motives and reasons for wearing a hijab are wide and various, but ultimately depend on each individual person's situation and can not be said to come from any one distinct reason or motive.  Although religion can be a common reason for choosing to veil, the practice also reflects political and personal conviction, so that it can serve as a medium through which personal choices can be revealed.20]
Topic(s) of this poem: culture, religion
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.