Thursday, 12 April 2012

Muslim Women: One view

A talented student of mine, Maria Rathore, here at the University of Miami painted this excellent view of a Muslim women for a class assignment. Maria spent a considerable amount of time contemplating what this painting meant to her and I think her observations are articulated excellently.

What does this painting represent Maria?

"This painting represents a Muslim woman who lives and thrives in western society yet chooses to wear the veil. Flowing out of her veil are various symbols that represent what she stands for and the sun shines brightly over them. The peacock feather represents the strength that this woman carries with her. A peacock is the only animal that is able to eat a poisonous snake and still survive. Similar to the strength of the peacock, this woman has gone through much adversity living in the west as a Muslim yet still manages to stay strong and live a happy life. The birds and butterflies symbolize the liberation she feels while living in the west which is different from her home country.

The main point of putting a veil in this painting is to show that the veil does not always come with oppression and that in Islam, a Muslim woman does have the liberty and freedom to live a happy and progressive life. A Muslim woman can live in the west, hold on to her beliefs yet intertwine her self with the culture around her to live the life she desires. She is just one example of the many Muslims living in the west trying to overcome some issues of cultural practices and negative traditions that have halted their progression. She uses her faith, strength and knowledge to create a harmonious balance in her colorful life. Making her own choices and living her own life."

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