Category Archives: General

Happy New Year

All of us at Artizara wish you a joyous, safe and prosperous 2009!

What a whirlwind 2008 has been…and are we glad it’s behind us :)

What with climate change, geopolitical turmoil, the global financial crisis and the roller coaster economy…it was enough to make anyone’s head spin! As we ended 2008 and began both a Christian and an Islamic New Year, it seemed that change was all around us… and it left us feeling excited, but a little apprehensive too, about what the future has in store for us.

More than anything, the new year is a time to take stock, thank the Almighty for our blessings, pare away the superfluous and identify and focus on what’s REALLY important to us, spiritually, personally and professionally.

We thank you, our customers, for having faith in us, and helping us grow. We need your guidance and your input, every day. Please let us know what you like, and do not like, about Artizara. We are here because of you, and without you, we would cease to be.

We hope that the new year is a year of new hope, new possibilities and new awakenings for us all, Ameen!

Plain Clothes Revisited: Empathy for Muslim Women

Interesting article by Laura Weaver, who draws a parallel between her experiences as a modest dressing Mennonite woman and the perceptions regarding Muslim women wearing hijab.

www.bethelks.edu/mennonitelife/2002june/weaver.php

Plain Clothes Revisited:
Empathy for Muslim Women
Laura H. Weaver

On September 17, 2001, while driving home, I heard an NPR interview with Suha Samhouri, “a typical New York woman in her mid-20s, except for the Hijab that covers her head.” The previous week, reporter Rick Karr explained, when she drove to a shopping center, “she failed to recognize two women she’d known for years . . . because they weren’t wearing Hijab.” Samhouri herself reported, in the interview, “As I was walking towards my car, I just saw the tears roll down my eyes and I couldn’t believe it. I was really shocked. . . . Just very unbelievable, someone, you know, having to change their beliefs, their ideas because of one or a group of really terrible people.” And as I was driving, I, too, began crying. A week later I read, in a Newsweek article, “In Washington D.C., Muslim women have had hijab scarves snatched from their heads.” (1) During September I heard other NPR interviews with young Muslim women in the U.S., for example, Amina Chaudary, a graduate student in public policy at George Washington University. Chaudary, who began wearing the scarf during high school and wore it when she was the captain of the varsity basketball team, said that it has now become “a target-verbal, physical, whatever-stares.”

I became angry when I heard of such mistreatment and equally angry during local discussions treating a Muslim woman as an Other. Here in Evansville, Indiana, I attended a book discussion of Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, (2) written by Geraldine Brooks, a Westerner–a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in the Middle East. Throughout most of this book, Brooks describes Western women’s dress in positive images and Muslim women’s dress (head and body coverings) in negative ones. For example, Brooks complains about a young Muslim woman’s getting rid of her Western dress: Sahar “wrapped away” her curls “in a severe blue scarf” and replaced her “shapely dress” with “a dowdy sack. . .[;] she had crumpled her bright wings and folded herself into a dull cocoon” (p. 7). Elsewhere Brooks describes Muslim women’s dress as “shapeless” (pp. 22, 63), “figure hiding” (p. 23), and “concealing” (p. 92). These outfits are compared pejoratively to the clothing of nuns, whom the author considers “fossil[s]” (pp. 10, 92), and to death and hell: the chador worn by the author to gain credibility at a press conference is a “black shroud” (p. 289), and the “360-degree black cloaks” worn by Saudi women “made them look, as Guy de Maupassant once wrote, ‘like death out for a walk'” (p. 21). On one occasion the author, seeing “the black-cloaked figures” of women, feels as if she had been “locked up by mistake in some kind of convent from hell” (p. 19). In our group discussion of this book, other women, sharing Brooks’s bias, asked, “How could they wear those clothes?” Outraged by their question, I wanted to leave the room.

Instinctively I placed myself in the position of Muslim women wearing distinctive clothing, especially as minority people in the U.S., not only when I listened to the radio or participated in a book discussion but also when I saw them in person. When, with other friends, I went to an open house at the local mosque and when I saw the local imam’s wife at a civil rights luncheon, I identified more with the Muslim women, whether their heads were fully or partially covered by scarves, than with the other women accompanying me. Recently I recalled another moment perhaps ten years ago when, in a restroom on the University of Evansville campus, I was standing at the washbowl beside a Muslim woman wearing the hijab. I felt that I was in her place. In this identification, my intellectual recognition of the apparent oppression signified by prescribed coverings for women’s heads and bodies was subordinated to my experiential connection with Muslim women.

Photo 1

Because of the increased attention given to Muslim women’s clothing after September 11, I began to revisit my experience with the Mennonite cap (head covering) and plain clothing, worn until I was 31 years old. During the past 19 years my earlier changes in cap/hair/clothing have often constituted the subject matter of my personal-experience essays designed to demonstrate my gradual acculturation. In those essays I never set out to ridicule my cap and plain clothes; I just attempted to show the changes. Photograph #1 illustrates that phase of my writing: my treating the cap and the plain clothes as an artifact, something to be discussed. In that photograph, I am a spectator of my life, as shown by my holding the cap in my hands and by the family photographs in the background–one showing me in my plain clothes and the other, in my non-plain clothes. Now, however, I’ve begun to see my plain-clothes experiences in a new way.

Instead of concentrating on my acculturation, I’m now interested in looking closely at my “plain” period, especially at the ways in which, despite my different appearance, I was a normal person participating in activities in the dominant society. I sense that my objection to others’ seeing Muslim head scarves and other clothing only as an instrument of oppression–as something to ridicule or seek to eradicate–derives from my plain-clothes past. Seeing the scarves and dresses, I recalled my own experiences not as an “other” but as a normal person.

Reminiscing prompted me to locate photographs taken when I was a plain-clothes student at Manor-Millersville High School (now Penn Manor) in Millersville, Pennsylvania, and a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In appearance I had nothing in common with the other students in either place. However, I participated in life at both places; underneath the different hairstyle, the cap, and the plain dress, I was a human being who, in a public high school, shared with others in academic work and extracurricular activities and, in graduate school, again performed the usual academic work and socialized with other students. (3)

Photo 2

Throughout high school I not only went to classes but also engaged in extracurricular activities. And always I wore the cap, even when singing in Glee Club performances within and outside the school and while wearing a gym suit for physical education class. Never did anyone order me or even try to persuade me to take off the cap or to stop wearing the cape dress. Two photos illustrate my differences from other people but also my participation. Photo #2 shows that the high school girls, except for a few other plain-clothes Mennonites, had cut hair and curls, wore skirts and blouses (some with decorative bows), and white socks. However, I wore my hair pulled back in a bun, wore a cap with strings, a cape dress with no decoration, and black shoes and stockings. Clearly, I was different. However, that physical difference did not prohibit me from actively joining in high school life and even in gaining recognition as the editor of the school newspaper, Manor Hi-Lights. As the editor, I was seated in the center of the photo, with 26 other staff members around me.

Photo 3

In the National Honor Society photo (#3) I again looked different. Other girls had cut hair and curls, wore skirts, blouses, scarves. I had long hair in a bun, wore a cap with strings, and wore a cape dress. But I participated sufficiently in high school life to be inducted into the National Honor Society, which emphasized scholarship, leadership, character, and service.

Photo 4

Photo 5

The next two photographs (#4 and #5) were taken on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia during my work on a master’s degree. Although, of course, my life there, just as in the public high school, involved academic performance, these particular photographs illustrate that, despite my different appearance, I socialized with other graduate students in English. Again, I am distinguished from other female students by my hair worn in a bun and by my white cap. By this time in my life, the cap was smaller, more hair showed at the neck, and there was less difference between my dress and those worn by other young women. However, I was still different–in fact, the only University of Pennsylvania woman wearing a cap. But just as clearly, I became friends with other graduate students, both women and men. We often studied in the same section of the library, and we socialized outside of classes. Together we went to parties. Although I drank soft drinks when others drank alcohol, I was there–invited with other students.

By the time I taught at Bluffton College and then completed a Ph.D. at the University of Kansas, I no longer wore a cap and cape dress. However, during the previous 31 years of my life (except for periods as a student and a teacher at Eastern Mennonite College and a teacher at Belleville Mennonite High School [Pennsylvania]) I was accustomed to looking different from the people around me: in public grade school; public high school; the workplace (an advertising agency and a law office) during two years between high school and college and in Christmas and summer vacations; and graduate school during my master’s degree studies. That difference, revealed in those five photos, became so internalized that, regardless of my agreement or disagreement with the reason for different clothing, I still identify with the persons wearing it. When something negative is said about them, especially women wearing religiously-prescribed clothing, I cringe–as if it were said about me. (4)

My witnessing the discrimination against Muslim women’s head coverings and other clothing has profoundly affected me, without, however, leading me to romanticize either conservative Mennonite or Muslim women’s experiences. Focusing less on my acculturation, now I am revisiting my experience with plain clothes, recapturing my engagement as a minority person in the dominant society. I remember that plain Laura was a normal human being who shared in academic life and socialized with others. The other effect is that I see Muslim women not as targets for our scorn or our attempted re-training but as participating human beings. My shared experience of having worn a distinctive head covering and dress has generated cross-cultural empathy. Other proof of an emerging appreciation for Muslim women’s clothing appears at the end of Nine Parts of Desire, where even Brooks, after having consistently denigrated Muslim women’s clothing, describes her changed response to the chador she wore to do her job:

When I look at that chador I no longer get the little shudder of fear or the gust of outrage that I used to feel when I saw the most extreme forms of Islamic dress. These days my feelings are much more complex. Chadors are linked in my mind to women I’ve felt close to, in spite of the abyss of belief that divided us. (5)

Facing fewer obstacles than did Brooks, I developed cross-cultural empathy much more easily. Not only “women I’ve felt close to” but also I myself have worn religiously-prescribed clothing. Living as plain Laura for 31 years prepared me to enter into the experiences of the Other–especially Muslim women in the U. S.

Notes

1. Lynette Clemetson and Keith Naughton, “Patriotism vs. Ethnic Pride: An American Dilemma,” Newsweek, 24 Sept 2001, p. 69.

2. Geraldine Brooks, Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women (New York: Random House, 1995).

3. Admittedly, I had more freedom than do Muslim women in some countries. In this essay I am describing the similarity between my experience as a conservative Mennonite minority woman and that of a Muslim minority woman in the U. S.

4. Despite my decision not to wear plain clothing and despite my disagreement with doctrinal justifications for this practice, I would probably react similarly to harsh criticism of a plain-clothes Mennonite woman who is a minority in a given situation. Although I do not identify with groups of such Mennonite women, I identify with a single minority figure.

5. Brooks, 234.

Copyright © Bethel College

Last updated: 27 August 2007

Contact Mennonite Life

ISNA CONVENTION PROMO COUPON

Don’t miss the Artizara booths at the upcoming ISNA convention in Columbus, Ohio! Get a head start on your Ramadan shopping and Eid Gifts with a fabulous new collection of Islamic jewelry and apparel. Mention coupon code ISNABLOG2008 to receive 10% off your purchase!

ISNA (Islamic Society of North America)
Friday-Monday August 29-Sep 1, 2008
Columbus Convention Center
400 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Bazaar Booths 221 & 223 (open to the public)

For more details visit isna.net

Artizara in the Washington Times

Artizara was featured an article by religion writer Julia Duin of the Washington Times. Would love to hear your comments on this story

DUIN: Web fills a void in Muslim garb
Women can ‘cover’ in fashion

Sunday, July 20, 2008

While looking for a place to eat the other night, I discovered Ad-Diwan, a store in a Falls Church strip mall with a sign saying “Islamic clothing.”

The shop, located in a triangle that includes a Lebanese restaurant and an Islamic supermarket, was filled with shapeless floor-length abayas — cloaklike overgarments — made in Kuwait or Turkey. I could not find a price on any of them, and the lone cashier barely spoke English.

It occurred to me that such shops are few and far between and that Muslim women who “cover,” as the wording goes, often must go online to find what they need.

But cyber-shopping for female Muslim attire is not like scanning Victoria’s Secret. The models rarely look at the camera, often casting their eyes toward the ground. Several sites only showed the backs of models’ heads or had young girls model the clothing.

Although the Koran is a bit foggy on specific dress rules, many Muslim women cover everything except for face, feet and hands.

When I spent two weeks in the Kurdish part of Iraq in 2004, I was piqued to discover that my calf-length attire was inappropriate. Despite the more westernized Kurdish frame of mind, women there still wore ankle-length garments. The long skirts weren’t too bad, but the long sleeves I was required to wear in 111-degree temperatures nearly gave me heat stroke.

Scanning Islamic clothing sites was like entering a secret world. There were jilbabs, which are shapeless floor-length dresses; hijabs, which are all-enveloping head scarves; and niqabs, which cover the head and the nose and mouth. One site sold “Islamic gloves” (elbow-length gloves so one’s arms and hands cannot be seen) and burqas that came with an eye screen so that “you can see out yet prying eyes cannot see in.”

I talked with Terry Cormier, who co-owns Al Farah (www.al-farah.com), a store and Web site based in Anaheim, Calif. “Farah” means happiness.

“It’s really hard to get stuff from the regular market,” Mrs. Cormier told me. “You have to do a lot of layering, and you need clothing with a high neck and long sleeves. A lot of our customers are not familiar with the Internet, but there is nowhere else to go.”

She converted to Islam six years ago “and I couldn’t find anything to wear,” other than abayas and certainly nothing with pants. She and her husband began making their own clothing and imported more from Syria, Dubai and Egypt.

Typical fabrics are polyester, georgette, crepe or cotton, which work in hot climates.

As for Muslim bathing suits, www.splashgear usa.com has pajamalike suits thought up by a convert to Islam.

By far, the classiest wear was at www.artizara.com, based out of San Diego with chiffon empire-waist shirt dresses made of Indian fabric, peasant shirts, satin caftans, embroidered denim skirts, bolero jackets and tunics. Artizara’s creators had ditched a lot of Arabic names for English words, such as “long dress” instead of jilbabs.

Sarah Ansari, its owner, said she gets visitors from 140 countries who like how Americans are redefining Muslim garb.

“Online, the creativity in Islamic clothing is coming from the U.S.,” she said. “We wanted marketplace clothing that blended Islamic values with the modern American lifestyle. It’s about common ground: We’re all for letting people know that Muslims are similar to them in many ways.”

Julia Duin’s column runs Thursdays and Sundays. She can be reached at jduin@ washingtontimes.com.

Sarah Ansari, CEO interviewed by Prof. Annelies Moors

Sarah Ansari, CEO was interviewed by Professor Annelies Moors of ISIM (International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern Worldwww.isim.nl)

The International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) develops, supervises, and engages in innovative, high quality research on social, political, cultural, and intellectual trends and movements in contemporary Muslim communities and societies. ISIM’s research approaches are interdisciplinary and comparative, covering a large geographic range that includes North Africa, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, South and Southeast Asia, and Muslim communities in Europe. Broad in scope, ISIM brings together the various areas of disciplinary expertise in anthropology, sociology, religious studies, political science, and cultural studies. ISIM’s work is grounded in solid empirical research and knowledge of local languages and contexts. It focuses on “Muslims” as social agents rather than on “Islam” as an abstract doctrine.

ISIM is an international research community and worldwide network. Academics the world over are attracted and inspired by the diverse community conducting research from ISIM’s Netherlands base. All their research is embedded in broad and diverse networks ranging from Muslim civil society grass roots to leading universities in the South and the North to prominent Muslim and non-Muslim thinkers on Islamic issues.

Professor Moors is the ISIM Chair at the University of Amsterdam. The interview, which lasted an extremely enjoyable hour, encompassed many topics ranging from the the history and mission of Artizara, to evolving patterns of Islamic dress in the West and integration of Muslim communities in the Netherlands and other European countries.

ISIM publishes the ISIM Review which carries research articles by scholars throughout the world, enabling its readers to follow trends in research and offering background information on current developments and events relevant to Islam and Muslim societies. This publication is available free of charge under the publications link at www.isim.nl

Artizara Summer 2008 Exhibition Schedule

Don’t miss our booths at the following conventions this summer:

1. APPNA (Association of Phycisians of Pakistani Descent of North America)
June 26-29, 2008
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
2660 Woodley Road, Washington DC 20008
(202)328 2000

Bazaar Booths 506 &508 (open to the public)

Thursday June 26 10:00 am-6 pm
Friday June 27 8:00 am-6 pm
Saturday June 28 8:00 am-6 pm
Sunday June 29 8:00 am-1 pm

For more details click here

2. ISNA (Islamic Society of North America)
Friday-Monday August 29-Sep 1, 2008
Columbus Convention Center
400 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Bazaar Booths 221 & 223 (open to the public)

For more details visit isna.net

Loving and Leaving the Head Scarf

What does “hijab” mean to you? Thought provoking article from Slate magazine. Though wearing hijab is not quite the easy equivalent of getting a haircut or buying a Prius…

Would love to hear readers’ comments and insights…

Loving and Leaving the Head Scarf
What *hijab*’s revolving door says about the religious mobility of American
Muslims.
By Andrea Useem
Posted Monday, May 12, 2008, at 7:03 AM ET

For most teenage girls, rebellion involves a tongue piercing or sneaking out to a beer-soaked party. But Suraya Ali, the daughter of unobservant Muslim immigrants from India, shocked her parents and her classmates by donning a Muslim head scarf. “It was my way of flipping the world off, saying, ‘I can be what I want,’ ” says Ali, now 31, who grew up in a Chicago suburb.

But a decade and a half later, Ali had a “strange feeling” of no longer fitting in with her Muslim community; she was constantly set up with potential suitors who assumed her scarf symbolized a certain submissive attitude toward marriage; and her elite education had prompted her to question the traditional roles for men and women laid out in classical Islamic law. “I realized [wearing *hijab*] is not who I am anymore.”

Ali’s decision was visible only to those who knew her (and because of her family’s sensitivities, she did not want her real name used). But her experience reveals how very modern American Muslim life can be.* Hijab* in America is not a social norm of ages past, unquestioningly handed down;rather, it has become a tool of self-expression. Just as Americans frequently change jobs, http://www.forbes.com/2007/04/24/employees-turnover-careers-lead-careers-cz_bk_0425turnover.htmlleave marriageshttp://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-07-18-cohabit-divorce_x.htmand switch religious affiliationshttp://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week1126/perspectives.html, American Muslim women choose to love, and sometimes leave, the head scarf.

When Yale anthropologist Carolyn Rouse http://www.princeton.edu/anthropology/faculty/carolyn_rouse studied African-American Muslim women for her 2004 book *Engaged Surrender*, http://www.amazon.com/Engaged-Surrender-African-American-Foundation/dp/0520237951she observed that the *hijab* (and, in some cases, *niqab*, or face-covering) http://www.muhajabah.com/niqab-index.htmwas primarily about group identity. Many female converts, for example, started veiling themselves immediately—the two were
seen as inseparable. Wearing* hijab* “signified belonging to the *ummah*,” or the broader, idealized Muslim community, she said. But this voluntary expression of citizenship doesn’t always last. By the time Rouse wrote her epilogue, several of the women she had followed no longer wore the scarf. One convert, Rouse wrote, “believes she used *hijab* to prove to herself the
depth of her faith. Now that she feels more secure with her faith she does not feel she needs it.”

When I first put on the head scarf eight years ago—starting off with a horrible tan-and-white polyester square I purchased before I realized *hijab * could be stylish —I felt that I was daring to follow my beliefs, come what may. What I believed at that moment, as I pinned the polyester beneath my chin, was that God wanted me to cover,
to simultaneously hide my beauty (such as it was) and proclaim my faith. I had become Muslim two years earlier while living and working in East Africa.

As a journalist and “honorary male,” I had mixed with more Muslim men than women in my travels and therefore gave little thought to *hijab* before converting. It was only when I returned to the United States for graduate school that I begin to notice my fellow *muslimahs*http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Muslimahwearing head scarves. Had I missed something?

A turning point came one day at a cafe (OK, it was Starbucks) in Harvard Square, when a scarf-wearing woman walked in. Some customers gave her uneasy glances, and I felt sharp regret that she had no idea a fellow believer was sitting right there, silently supporting her. After that, I researched classical Islamic law as best I could and concluded that covering everything but your hands, face, and feet was, indeed, “required” for believing Muslim women.

The Quran actually has just two verses dealing specifically with women’s dress. Chapter 33, verse 59 http://quran.al-islam.com/Targama/DispTargam.asp?nType=1&nSeg=0&l=eng&nSora=33&nAya=59&t=eng, tells women to wear outer garments so they’ll be recognized as Muslims and left alone. A longer verse, Chapter 24, verse 31 http://quran.al-islam.com/Targama/DispTargam.asp?nType=1&nSeg=0&l=eng&nSora=24&nAya=31&t=eng, instructs women to guard their modesty, to cover their breasts, and not to display their beauty to males except their brothers, husbands, fathers,
eunuchs, male slaves, etc. To the modern reader, the words can appear maddeningly ambiguous and painfully out of date, and they require not only translation from classical Arabic but a grasp of seventh-century historical context. Both passages are hotly debated. For *hijab *apologists, however, the verses, along with prophetic endorsement and scholarly rulings, prove
that full covering is obligatory. This opinion is mainstream among Muslims in the United States; according to a 2007
studyhttp://pewforum.org/surveys/muslim-american, 51 percent of American Muslim women wear *hijab *all or some of the time.

” ‘*Hijab* is beautiful, *hijab* is what God wants, *hijab* is a Muslim woman’s duty’—that’s become a mantra among Muslim communities,” says Fatemeh Fakhraie, a graduate student, bloggerhttp://muslimahmediawatch.blogspot.com/, and co-founder of the Facebook group “Just Because I Don’t Wear *Hijab*Doesn’t Mean I’m Not Muslim.”

These theological arguments, while important in their own ways, sometimes seem little more than a patina atop more primal social urges, however. Wearing *hijab* or not wearing *hijab*—just like owning a gun or driving a Priushttp://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/07/15/INGHKQVEIM1.DTL—says something fundamental about your beliefs and aspirations. And in America, at least, beliefs have a funny way of changing.

My own fervent attachment to the scarf gradually faded. Two years after first donning it, I was married and no longer needed the scarf to broadcast my unavailability to non-Muslim guys. I had also moved to a Persian Gulf country where *hijab *was not a personal choice but a cultural system of sex segregation: On the beaches there, men in shorts played soccer and swam,
while women in layers of black polyester dipped their toes in the water and shook sand from their shoes.

Like spouses who know they are headed for divorce but still go through the marital motions, many *hijabis *continue to wear the scarf in public long after its inner meaning has dissipated. They wait for a natural break in their lives to make the transition. I took it off on my return flight from the Persian Gulf to the United States. Ali removed it after finishing a summer internship. Another woman I know literally moved across the country to make the change, simultaneously leaving the tight-knit Muslim community
she felt was suffocating her and the scarf that pledged her allegiance to it. Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur http://www.livingislamoutloud.com/, author of the 2005 essay collection *Living Islam Out Loud http://www.amazon.com/Living-Islam-Out-Loud-American/dp/0807083836 ,* found that taking off *hijab* was about breaking up with not only her Muslim community but also her childhood assumptions. After she divorced an
abusive husband, Abdul-Ghafur found herself judged and isolated by her fellow Muslims. Feeling burned by community norms that rushed her into marriage with the wrong guy, she questioned the *hijab*. “Taking it off expanded my identity—it was exciting, like a new haircut,” she says.

But if you start pulling at the thread of doubt, how do you keep the whole sweater from unraveling? When religious scholar Karen Armstrong left her convent http://www.amazon.com/Through-Narrow-Gate-Spiritual-Discovery/dp/0312119038in
the late 1960s, she proceeded to leave Catholicism, and today she says http://religion.beloblog.com/archives/2007/11/qa_with_karen_armstrong.htmleven the label of “freelance monotheist” feels restrictive. Ali still prays five times a day, fasts for Ramadan, and remains attracted to a somewhat-traditional religious outlook. “I don’t think Islam is untrue in any way. But I did get very stuck in a way of looking at things that made Islam feel untrue, and I had to separate those things.”

While many American Muslims dwell contentedly within the limits of modern Islamic orthodoxy—miniworlds where *hijab* can be taken for granted—others avoid it or pass through en route to more spacious destinations. *Andrea Useem is a freelance religion writer and editor. Her Web site is www.ReligionWriter.com www.religionwriter.com/.*

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2191103/

Copyright 2008 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC

Scarf Tying, Artizara Style

Here is the scoop on how our models tied their scarves:

The scarves that are worn “turban style” (Leyla Jacket) are tied as follows:

1. Place the scarf on your head with ends draped equally on both sides 2. Cross the ends of the scarf behind your head at the nape of you neck and pull fairly tight
3. Bring up the ends of the scarf above your head and tie in a knot on top of your head and slightly to the side.
4. Fluff the ends of the knot into a bow

The scarves that are worn “hijab style” (Rima Shirt) are draped as follows:

Start with a longer scarf (at least 20x 70 inches)

1. Place the scarf on your head with ends draped equally on both sides 2. Cross the ends of the scarf behind your head at the nape of you neck and knot fairly tight, leaving your earlobes visible (this allows you to wear earrings, if you wish)
3. Bring the corners of the scarf forward over each shoulder and cross to the opposite side of the head (left scarf corner to right side of head and right scarf corner to left side) and then lift to the rear top of your head. Secure both corners at the rear top of your head with a pin. One corner of each short edge of the scarf will be free to cover the knotted scarf at the nape of your neck.

Hope this helps!

Stay Tuned for the Spring Summer Collection!

We’re excited!

Our Spring Summer Collection begins its debut this March, and we hope you’lll love it as much as we do!

This season’s collection is all about easy fabrics, soft and feminine silhouettes and lots of fresh color. Coordinated scarves have been designed with every piece, and we’ve put together many ensembles, for those of you who’d rather not spend time putting together that “put together” look! We design each piece with the goal that it should never hang in your closet; you should get lots and lots of wear out of it, dress it up or down, wear it for work and play, at home or at a night on the town.

Don’t forget to check out the new jewelry line! These are not just baubles, but inspirational pieces. From far off places like Turkey, Egypt and Pakistan, this is jewelry making in traditions many hundreds of years old. Many pieces have engraving and calligraphy and make meaningful and cherished gifts for that special occasion or that special someone.

Any questions, comments, special requests…call us! We are here 9:00 to 6:00 Pacific Time and will help you in any way that we can. We promise to delight you with our friendly service :)

Site Enhancements at Artizara!

Hello all!

Lots has been happening at Artizara!

So caught up have we been in all the new happenings, we clear forgot to keep you folks posted on them :)

We hope you like the new look, feel and navigation of our store. We recently upgraded to a new more robust and more secure e-commerce platform…which is a fancy way of saying that the shopping experience should be smoother and safer for you all. We also added Hacker Safe Certification, which scans the site daily and identifies any security threats. Research indicates sites remotely scanned for known vulnerabilities on a daily basis, such as those earning HACKER SAFE certification, can prevent over 99% of hacker crime. So you can rest easy when shopping at Artizara!

We would love to get your feedback on the new layout of the store, so drop us a line or pick up the phone! We’re listening..