Looking at the news over the past few weeks I came to the conclusion that its time we start finding more ways to love and understand each other:
This week I had a chance to sit for coffee with with Hanan, a 24 year old fashion blogger and law student from Kfar Kasem. @7anan_7assan23
Hanan shared with me her love for sports, color, and about her role as a religious Israeli Muslim:
“I wear a head covering not because I need to, but because I want to. In our religion, head covering doesn’t refer to marital status- ( I’m not married). I just believe that when something is more covered it’s more precious.” Says Hanan.
“Modesty is a way of life, it’s important to me, however, I do still like looking good. This is why I exercise and take care of my body and make an effort to dress up.
I love my body and take pride in who I am, but not in a stuck up way. As a religious Muslim we need to cover our arms and legs, and neck. We have modesty preferences, but just because something is “modest” according to the rules, doesn’t mean I’ll wear it. I get sent a lot of free clothing and I decline a lot of it, because it might not exude the message I want to portray.
Chana Rachel: If theres one thing that’s most important to you in fashion, what is it?
Hanan: Color! I love color, and I love wearing flowers!!
“flower style”. I’m only 24 and this is the springtime of my life. SPRING. Why not show it?
My mom is in her 50s and also wears only color, I always tell her it makes her look younger.
Chana Rachel: What’s the standard age to get married in your religion?
Hanan: Back in the day it was 18, but today its a new world. I’m 24 and focusing on my studies before I settle down. It’s important for me first to build myself up in my career and then settle down. If I met an amazing guy now with a great heart I might change my mind, but this is the situation meanwhile. My parents support me all the way.
Chana Rachel: What’s your favorite sport?
Hanan: Squats and sit ups. I don’t feel comfortable lifting my arms and moving like that in front of men so I do it in the comfort of my own home. I also follow healthy living bloggers on Instagram and find inspiration for exercises and recipes.
Chana Rachel: How do you balance work & studies?
Hanan: Its tough sometimes, so I like planning my days the night before. When I plan my day in advance and make a list the night before of all the things I need to get done, I wake up feeling more driven and focused. It’s easier to plan a balanced schedule like that.
We all have 24 hours in a day, and when we plan the day in advance we have more control over how we plan it and balance it.
I am a positive person and you can even see on my Instagram bio- “positive vibes only 🌸”, I don’t think its good though only to be positive all the time. I’ts normal to feel sad and pain sometimes, as long as we think positively most of the time.
“I don’t think its normal to only be happy all the time, but if you can most of the time, that’s great”
Rabbi Nachman of Breslev: ״ מצווה גדולה להיות בשמחה תמיד״
Chana Rachel: How do you see our religions coming together?
Hanan: I know that our religons are in conflict sometimes, however, I belive that as human beings we are all equal and we just need to love and respect each other. I have friends from different religions and I love them equally. But in order to do this we must first learn to love ouselves.
When you love yourself and respect yourself the people around you will follow.
Chana Rachel: Like the Jewish concept: “ואהבת לרעך כמוך”
“Love thy neighbor as yourself”
Hanan: Thats’s also a concept also in Muslim!
” أحب لأخيك ما تُحب لنفسك “
( pronounced: Chev Leachik, Ma Tochev Lenafsik)
Love thy neighbor as thyself- “The Golden Rule”. a principle of treating others as one’s self would wish to be treated.
Hanan spells this out for me. Then on my phone.
Seeing these letters for the first time on the screen of my phone I ask:
When you see these letters, what do they mean to you?
Hanan: Pride. Pride to be a Religious Israeli Muslim. It makes me feel safe, this is who I am.
Just like when you see your own writing, you are proud of who you are and where you come from!
We all need this pride.
Chana Rachel: if there was one thing you want to share with the women around the world, what would it be?
Hanan: Love yourself, be proud of who you are and everything else will follow.
Sketching some new Hijab styles with watercolor pencils.
Always a first time 😉
An insight I had today about ואהבת לרעך כמוך:
Imagine sitting infront of yourself, someone EXACTLY like you. Wouldn’t that drive you CRAZY?
You would pay attention to all your faults, all your bad character traits and flaws.
So maybe in order to love others as we love ourselves at least we should try to first perfect ourselves, our levels of compassion, self love, sense of humor 🙂 and just be the best version of ourselves, so that even if we needed to spend a day with our clone, it would actually be a pleasurable experience.
And then the rest of the world would follow.