News and views Tuesday 14th of October 2014: The covered-girl look is great, say two Upper West Side artists who think NYC women should give the hijab a try.

If I were to write art what sort of images would your mind’s eye conjure up, perhaps something akin to the sistine chapel, or Michelangelo’s David, well for thinking such things you’re showing your age! As such dusty old relics don’t deserve to bask in the light of greatness which modern day geniuses like Saks Afridi and Qinza Najm are emanating, though there’s no shame in admitting that, for how could primitive, creative featherweights such as Vincent van Gogh, Shakespeare and Mozart compete with the #DamnILookGood campaign?!


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Some of the dynamic duo’s unfettered creativity, which we’re sure to be talking about hundreds of years from today.


With such an overflow of creativity who knows how far this radical new art style could go, thus it’s my intention to capitalize on so massive a business opportunity! But what could be more artistic than putting non-Muslim women into isolation body bags like the niqab, whatever could make more traffic for my oldschoolcontemporary blog. It would have to be something that captures the joy which Islam brings to women all across the globe.


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#BringingSexyBack!


Moreover there’s the dignity and high self-esteem that Muslim women are famous for.


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#GarbageGlam


However there are yet some doubters out there, people who’re unconvinced with the beauty and innovation of what creative types like me, Saks Afridi and Qinza Najm are doing, to which I say you people just don’t get it, Islam has been under-represented in both art and modern media, it’s up to us therefore to bring its wonderful history to the world. That means showing Islam’s feminist history until every man, woman and child knows exactly what Islam stands for.


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Veiling little girls, just another example of Islam’s long history of protecting females, since if mothers and authority figures didn’t veil them they may incite Muslim men to sexually attack them.


― T. C. M


The covered-girl look is great, say two Upper West Side artists who think NYC women should give the hijab a try.

The hijab is hot! That’s the message two Upper West Side artists want to spread by encouraging women around the city to put on the veil and snap a selfie. “Women who wear a hijab by choice are in complete control of their sexuality,” says Saks Afridi, who started the #DamnILookGood campaign with project partner Qinza Najm. “Here in New York, it’s very brave for a woman to wear one out in public.” The artists use the term “hijab” to refer to the dress code of modesty for Muslim women. The actual face covering they use in the project is known as a “niqab.” Najm had started wearing a hijab around New York City as an experiment, just to see what it would be like. Though she was raised in Pakistan, she and her family members do not wear the traditional head covering worn by some Muslim women. But one day she put on a hijab in her Lower East Side art studio and went for a walk around the neighborhood.

“Someone started screaming at me to ‘Go home!’” Najm recalls. “I was surprised because I figured people in New York would have more tolerance.” She spent the next week wearing the hijab around town, and encountered more angry New Yorkers on the streets and subways. This aggressive reaction to a garment that’s quite common in many Muslim cultures prompted Najm and Afridi to do the project. They launched it at the DUMBO Arts Festival last month, where hundreds of women put on the head covering and posed for selfies, posting them to sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #damnilookgood. “A selfie suggests you are feeling confident and good about yourself,” says Najm, who put her hijab back on for the project and posed with the other women. Almost none of the women who participated in the #DamnILookGood project had ever worn a hijab before. (Continue reading here.)


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