Invisible Women

It was the summer  of 2010 and I sitting on a plane bound for the Middle East thinking “This is crazy!” I was nervous and I watched while the women on the plane started to put on burquas and veils as they neared their home country. I started to get anxious. Why did I quit my job to come to a foreign country and meet women I didn’t know, build a friendships and teach them English? My curiosity had gotten the best of me. I was tired of watching the news about extremist Muslims that wanted to blow me and my family up. I didn’t know much about Muslims, but I wanted to. I wanted to get to know women that lived quietly beneath the black veil. I wanted to know about the mysterious culture. Common sense told me that not every Muslim was secretly thinking of ways to kill me. All I see on the news are male terrorists, male politicians and male soldiers…The other thought that plagued me was “Where are the women?” I was on an adventure that would cause my perspective of the world to explode. I’m a tall, blonde haired, blue eyed Model from New York City.  I’m not a Muslim, but I am a woman. I don’t claim to be a Theologian or an expert on the Middle East, but I want to share some woman’s stories and perspective and bring awareness gained through my studying and traveling to those who also may wonder “Who is the quiet woman behind the veil?” In the U.S. I didn’t know many Muslim women and in the Subways of New York occasionally I would see a women in a veil out with her husband and children. I was intimidated now sitting on the plane lost in my thoughts and anxieties, but it was too late to turn back. I pulled my pink scarf up to cover my golden hair and took a deep breath as I clutched my passport with white knuckles and we neared the ancient land where the history is so intensely rich and deep…

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