Hiyab begins with Fátima’s first day in school. Already, her hijab is being called into question, and she is asked to remove it by the director, as it is allegedly against the school’s dress code. The girl staunchly refuses to on account of her religion and personal choice, but the director insists with authority that it is not allowed. What will Fátima do?
This short film looks into the clash between people of different religions and cultures. It can be fascinating to see how a simple religious icon can cause quite a stir in some people, especially if it is very different from the faith they themselves have embraced. There is, however, something about how the girl, Fátima, clung to her choice of dress, despite being told by outside influences to change it for the sake of society and authority. (I suppose it can be noted here that Fatimah is considered to be the Muslim counterpart of Christianity’s Mary.) At any rate, Hiyab presents a deep seated schism between cultures in a simple, everyday scenario in a public school.
What I found interesting about the scenario was actually the end note, wherein it is shown just how ordinary, or unique, the dress code of the other students in the school could be. But what about you? What did you think of the discussion between the Christian director and Fátima? Do you think it was right for either parties to have insisted on their beliefs?
(Hiyab is available on YouTube with English subtitles. Click here for a film about a young child who’s faith in Jesus is tested. Click here for a short about Spanish people adapting to different cultures in Istanbul. And click here for a feature-length documentary about the history of an Islamic Spain.)
Directed by Xavi Sala