From the Editor's Desk – Taking a Beat for Deep Thinking While We Examine Hidden Biases
Sep 5, 2023
Dilshad Ali
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Image source: Pexels
Salaamualaikum friends!
Another September, another school year is underway, Mash’Allah. At Haute Hijab, we have HH kiddos in a variety of elementary school grades, and then there’s my youngest kid, who has begun 10th grade of his high school years. It’s just zipping along here!
We just finished a month of Haute Hijab Academy content, bringing you stories and a special series on “Building Confidence” in all stages of life to help you get ready for this season of fall, of back-to-school and returning to the routines and work of our lives after a more (hopefully) loose and carefree (or at least less cares) summer time.
It’s hard to get back in that mindset when many of us are still enjoying the warmth of lingering summer and the still long-ish days. A recent New York times op-ed from Melissa Kirsch summed up this mixed-bag of feelings:
“Why must there be such an austere demarcation between before Labor Day and after, between summer and not-summer, between enjoying our lives and enduring them? Why have we so internalized the back-to-school dread of childhood that it’s become a permanent feature of adulthood.
I know there are people (many of them! and so vocal!) who enjoy the ramrod posture of fall, who find the post-Labor Day realignment invigorating. … But let’s ease into it.
I challenge you, this year, to own every last day until the equinox (Sept. 23 at 2:49 a.m. Eastern in the Northern Hemisphere). Sure, the first day of school has come and gone, the vacation people have returned from their vacationing, rested and restive, muttering about Q4 and getting a jump start on Christmas shopping. But there are still three weeks left of summer, plenty of time both for nimbu pani and pumpkin spice alike. Plenty of time to integrate your summer self looser, less fretful into the incipient and inevitable enterprise of fall.”
That really spoke to our hearts, this easing into the “inevitable enterprise of fall.” Because to be sure, lots of us (myself included) really love the refocus that fall brings (along with cooler temps, changing autumn colors and all the stereotypical stuff that comes along with it). But it’s nice to allow ourselves to ease back into it, even though Labor Day weekend often feels like this last line in the sand between summer and fall.
With that in mind, we don’t have a clear theme or focus this month on the blog. We are allowing ourselves the time to explore stories and what's happening in our communities of Muslim women, to regroup and refocus after taking a beat and listening to what is happening with you, to you.
We DO have some things planned, including a look back at how we’ve changed as communities and as individuals in this third year after the COVID-19 global pandemic changed life as we knew it (for most of us). We also will be exploring the concept of iqra, and how “back-to-school” isn’t just for kids; we all should be in a constant state of learning.
Plus, we will be exploring what judging other people really says about ourselves - if there is something that is truly bothering you about someone else that really isn’t haram or morally wrong, maybe it’s an invitation to explore oneself and one’s own biases. (Bringing back our favorite, anonymous middle-aged Muslimah writer who wrote this piece and this piece to tackle THAT one.)
Also, remember I hinted last month that we’re getting ready to drop a big thing for you? Ok, I’m not a tease, it really is happening, Insha’Allah, in the next few weeks as we dot all our “i’s” and cross our “t’s.” And I’m SO EXCITED for it, but can’t say more than that.
So, what are you excited for in the coming months? What are you easing into (or out of)? Let us know! Insha’Allah we will all close out 2023 with grace and good humor and an eye on all the beautiful things there are to fight for and to come. As always, be good, make good choices and always start with Bismillah.
Editorially yours,

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