Looks Can Be Deceiving
Ever wonder what that thing is on my head? Are you curious about what it represents and why I wear it, why other women wear it, and why others don’t? My hope is in reading this blog, I’ll be able to demystify some things for you and help you see that we might not be all that different.
I am Dr. Nazia Hossain. I was born in New York City and moved to Plano, Texas when I was just a few months old since my parents wanted my two older sisters and me to have the best education. I am South Asian, and my parents were born in Bangladesh (a small country next to India). They moved to New York in the 1970s as newlyweds in their 20s for better opportunities of building our family.
As a child, my mom would only speak to us in the Bangla/Bengali. She would tell us she did not speak English. I would ask her how people at work, JP Morgan Chase, would understand her, and she would just smile. Today, I am thankful that she taught us Bangla and the Bangladeshi culture. I have also learned more Hindi and Urdu, as well as Arabic through learning how to read the Quran, the Islamic holy book.
It was not until middle school that I started learning about my religion, Islam. One of the fastest growing religions in the world. It was then that I decided to start wearing hijab, the Islamic headdress. The word “hijab” means to cover and represents modesty, privacy, and morality. My hijab is a huge part of who I am, entwined with my personal identity. It reminds me of my strength, manners, and modesty. My identity is very important to me.
My hijab empowers me every day. Some may assume that a woman in hijab is chained to her home, the kitchen, probably slaving after her husband, but they fail to realize we are doctors, surgeons, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and educators. We break all stereotypes. We are powerful, and our hijab does not stop us but empowers us.
My hijab is my pride and makes me a living symbol of my faith. My hijab is personal to me, just as you might have a tattoo or necklace charm that reminds you of something special in your lives. I also enjoy baking, traveling, and scrolling through social media. I get my energy from being around people. I might actually share more in common with you than you may think. I am a first-generation American, and understand what it is like growing up as a minority – a Muslim, a South Asian, a woman of color.
Despite what I wear or the hijab on my head, I want my clients to know they can talk to me about anything – literally. My office is free of judgement. I love to learn about other cultures, new ideas, and different ways of doing things. If you are interested, I can share more about me, my culture, and things I have learned through traveling and working with diverse populations from all across the world, and most importantly growing up post 9/11 and through the Muslim Ban. There is no topic too taboo for me. To me, therapy as a safe outlet to speak, discuss, and process life events. As a solution-focused therapist, I help my clients focus on what is already working.
If you are still reading, thank you, and allow me to invite you to reach out to me today. I applaud you for working hard to make life better — not just for you, but those closest to you. Let’s see how we can work together to make 2021 better. We need more people like you in the world.