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The Muslim women in a new documentary about wearing the veil talk about their choices
by Huma Qureshi
Each of the women in I Wasn't Always Dressed Like This has had an individual journey to deciding to cover with either a hijab or niqab.
Take Louisa, the first woman that we meet in the opening credits of the film. Louisa is 26 years old and originally from Lyon, France. She's filmed walking to her university, wearing stylish, oversized sunglasses, a belted tunic and carrying her handbag in the crook of her elbow. Her headscarf is pretty, in blue and pink.
Louisa converted to Islam after visiting the Middle East and studying Islamic history at university. But, before that, her knowledge of Islam was limited. In the film, she says: "I thought: 'OK, they fast, they pray and they wear a headscarf and their book has a lot of rules and regulations'." It was only later, after a trip to Palestine, that she began to delve deeper and feel connected. "My time spent with Muslim women confirmed to me that Islam had a feminine side — although it's not what I used to see from the outside. I felt they drew their strength from their spirituality."
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