Mona Haydar

Syrian American

Wrap My Hijab, a 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.

Named one of 2017’s top protest songs and one of the top feminist anthems of all time by Billboard critics, this was Mona’s first music video written in honor of Muslim’s Women’s Day “to challenge perceptions surrounding Islam and the wearing of hijabs.” Haydar wants to “call attention to shifts that need to happen and challenge perceptions and ideas that don’t serve us.” Haydar, a rapper, teacher, performance poet, activist, practitioner of Permaculture, mother and “tireless God-enthusiast,” is a Syrian-American who grew up in Flint, Michigan; graduated from the University of Michigan; studied Arabic and Islamic spirituality in Damascus; and completed a Masters in Christian Ethics at Union Theological Theological Seminary in New York City. Her husband, Sebastian Robbins, converted to Islam in 2012. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernadino, Haydar and Robbins launched their “Ask a Muslim” booth in Cambridge, Massachusetts “to counter misconceptions about Muslims” and “to talk to people who had questions about Islam.”

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