When we used to have SIC (Shabab Islamic Centre) in Toronto, one of the organizors asked me if I’d be interested in being interviewed for my life as a niqaabi in Toronto. This was around mid-2007. I agreed to it, but I was a bit nervous as it was my first interview. I made lots of du’aa and then took help of a friend who has been involved with media. Few of the suggestions that are always given to me for any ‘public’ appearance are:
1) Be yourself.
2) Answer the questions being asked, and don’t answer the indirect questions.
3) Stay calm. As Muslims, we should be conscious of the angels recording our actions/speech 24/7, so this should be less intimidating.
4) Be polite, friendly but firm.
5) As experience taught me, never meet them alone.
When I was preparing for this interview with Denise from TorontoLife, I had only been a niqaabi for a good six (6) months. Denise had sent me her questions beforehand, so I had some time to think about them. I decided that I would like to do this interview in the comfort of my home, so I invited her over. We had tea, and the interview began. It lasted a comfortable hour or two. Alhumdulillaah, it didn’t feel anything like ‘interrogation’, where I was just having questions thrown at me. Denise and I made really good acquaintance through it, and even found something in common between us to talk about. We were interrupted by Anees, my big fluffy black cat who really was deprived of my attention for so long. As I was playing with him, and Denise was packing up, she remarked: ‘You are the most normal woman I have ever interviewed.’ I looked in her eyes as she watched me rub Anees’s huge stomach, and contemplated how much wearing Niqaab and making that transition contributed to this ‘normal-ness’ in my life. Alhumdulillaah.
The interview is published online and can be read in the link below. Also, check out the sister’s interview after me for her role as a hijaabi in Toronto.