Muslim Girl is a website dedicated to providing a platform for Muslim women to explore social issues related to Islam, gender equality and the celebration of womanhood.
Taking inspiration from the “100 years of beauty...” series by WatchCut, they decided to create a “100 Years of Hijab Fashion...” video focussing on headscarf styles worn in the Middle East and Asia.
The hijab is one of the most controversial and politicised items of clothing in modern history - seen by many as a symbol of female oppression.
The larger picture though, the creators wrote, is far more complex and nuanced than that:
For generations, [the hijab] has been a powerful symbol of Muslim women’s defiance against the male gaze, colonialism, and Islamophobia as we know it today. It’s also become a politicised garment that represents Muslim women’s control and autonomy...
So here goes...
The turn of the century gives a few brief years of peace in Egypt, before the 1919 revolutionary war that would see the country independent by 1922.
The hijab in 1940s Algeria was less about political identity and more about cultural identity.
This soon changed when a bloody war of independence erupted in 1954, which saw the hijab used as a tool against oppression, and a form of resistance against French occupation.
Increasingly violent protests against the autocratic ruler, Shah Reza Pahlavi, came to a head in 1979 and formed the basis of the Iranian Revolution.
Up to the early 1990s, women were active participants in society, holding jobs in government, as well as teachers, doctors and lawyers.
However, after the Soviet Union withdrew from the country, Afghanistan suffered a brutal civil war, and the continued political instability paved the way for the Taliban.
An estimated nine million Syrians have fled the country since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011.
The hijab continues to be as much a religious statement as it is a symbol of perseverance.
Have a look at the entire video, below: