Wearing the hijab and what it really means


Courtney Donahoe

Professor Henze and Dr, Abu-Shariefeh talk about their film “Just a Piece of Cloth” to an interested audience.

Courtney Donahoe, Staff Member

The award winning film, “Just A Piece Of Cloth”, is a short movie educating the public on what the hijab for Muslim women is and what it really means to them.

Producer and director Rosemary Henze guides us through four Muslim women’s lives, and how wearing the hijab in the United States comes with their struggles and difficulties. Henze received her Ph.D from Stanford, and currently she is a professor in linguistics and language development at San Jose State University.

The short film introduces us to four women who are Muslim, or have converted to the Muslim religion, and they speak about their lives here in America. Dr. Arwa Abu-shariefeh, Dian Alyan, Nur Laura Bean, and Mahsa Mohaddess Modirzadeh talk about how they wear or don’t wear their hijab and the choices they make while doing so.

“It’s a film built on my experience as a teacher, and wanting to give a place for my students voices to really speak to a larger audience was really my goal,” Henze said.

Followed after the introduction was the film that lasted for 30 minutes, then right after a discussion of what the whole process of filming and putting the film together was like for Henze occurred.

“It was a huge undertaking, much more than I imagined because I didn’t have any really background in film making, I took a few classes here and there, and tried to learn as much as I could,” Henze said.

Dr. Arwa Abu-shariefeh was also at the short film presentation and gave her intake on the process of making the film as well. Abu-Shariefeh earned her Ph.D in international and multicultural education at the University of San Francisco.

“We hope to expand on your knowledge and maybe do something about it maybe take it to the next level,” Abu-shariefeh said.

Ending the panel, they opened it up to the audience for students, family, and friends to ask any questions regarding what they thought about the film and anything to do with the hijab and Muslim religion.

“The more you ask questions the more you’re gonna notice we’re just like you,”Abu-shariefeh said.

“we’re exactly like you, you have no idea.”