Naked Face and Bare Feet: Language and the Body

by Atifa Othman _ There I was, bare feet and naked face, drenched in salty sweat after a 1-hour workout. I was a regular at that gym and I always tried to make it a point to look approachable and friendly. I never had a problem frequenting exercise spaces on my own (apart from the…

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What Happens When Your Body Is Not Your Own

by Aria Ridzuan My body is not my own. Growing up in a Malay Muslim household, it took me a while before I realized that my body was not my own. Since young, my body has been policed by everyone around me; my self-worth reduced to my physical appearance as though I had nothing else…

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Of Boobs and Babat: A Story About My Body

by Raudah __ As a plus-size woman, body image is an inner demon that I have fought, lost and have a love-hate relationship with over the years. Heck, sometimes we have brunch on weekends.  I dislike my body. Everything is too much; my feet are too big and I am not able to buy cute…

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Editor’s Letter: Body Image

This editor’s letter is guest-written by Nurul Huda Rashid _ Pertumbuhan tubuhku / Seeds & the Soil   I was in primary school when I was made aware of the darkness of my skin. Its hairiness was identified as ‘gorilla’ and  I was told that I could never be as beautiful as a ‘Malay’ girl. The…

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The persistence of loneliness

by Sasnidar _ Everyone is born in this world has a story or journey of their own. This piece may have similarities to your own or maybe it is a knowledge that some of you might never know exists. * It hurts. it really does hurt her. It tires her down. Consistently being the punching…

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Behind Closed Doors

by Sutera Merah _ [Content warning for descriptions of domestic violence] _ “Alice, Can you help me cross the road, please? I don’t know how to do it with the girls.” It was a call of help to my counsellor.  I was at the crossroads of my life and literally standing at the intersection of…

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Editor’s Letter: Divorce & Single Motherhood

[This editor’s letter is guest-written by Zubee Ali, the wonderful coordinator and collaborator of our recent writing workshop 🙂 ] by Zubee Ali _ “I feel like I have no voice!” Natasha*, a young single mother with a four-year-old shared after her harrowing experience in court trying to claim regular maintenance from her ex. The…

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RECAP: Writing Workshop for Single Mothers and Divorcees

By Sarah Namazie _ On the 2nd of March 2019, Beyond the Hijab held a writing workshop for an upcoming blog series specifically written by divorcees, many of whom were also single mothers. The session started with enthusiasm and laughter from the workshop participants as they went around introducing themselves and what they would like…

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Teaching ‘feel-good’ Islam: Toxic Positivity & Silencing the Oppressed

by Mysara Aljaru _ An ‘Islamic’ Toxic Positivity “You just need faith in Allah, you are where He wants you to be.” These were words I frequently heard growing up, especially from religious teachers in weekend madrasahs I used to attend as a child. It seemed reassuring at that time. Why wouldn’t it be, right?…

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Knowing What We Know: The Education Of Young Girls

by Zubaida Ali _ Now that I am in my mid-fifties and expecting the birth of my first grand-daughter, I ponder at the thought of how she will receive her education in life. Not the academic education that will surely be given to her but the passing on of cultural knowledge such as beliefs and…

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