What I Learned About Headscarves

After leaving the hammam (bathhouse), the matron put a scarf over my wet hair so I wouldn’t catch a cold. In the west, headscarves have a strong religious and political connotation. However, in Morocco, they are ubiquitous and serve many purposes: from shielding a lady from a sandstorm to adding a cute accessory to finish off an outfit.

While walking home with my scarf on, I ran into my neighbors, the bakery ladies, who see me almost everyday. Even though I never wear a scarf, they recognized me instantly. I was worried I would have to explain myself, but they didn’t comment on the scarf at all. I gathered it wasn’t such a big deal after all: scarf or no scarf, I’m still me.

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