Muslim Women’s Hijab (Veil)

An instructor told us a story of how one Memorial day, when she was in Washington DC, she was in a restaurant with a friend having lunch, when she saw a woman who was completely covered in wearing a black abaya at another table. She said, “I was frightened when I saw her, she was covering her face and playing with her iPhone, which is weird for me”. My friend Ragheb and I were laughing about that. We explained it to our instructor that it is normal in the culture of an Islamic country. We told her that if you had spoken with her she would have been happy to communicate with you.

Every country has its cultures, religions, and beliefs that guide how people who live in them behave. Many people only catch a limited glimpse of other countries’ ethics, and what they mean. These people use their perspective to create individual and group attitudes and beliefs about each culture. As the example involving the instructor demonstrated, sometimes these impressions are negative. This story is an example of how people consider any woman who wears the hijab, especially abaya, to be an awful scene; which is wrong. Subsequently, Muslim women who wear the hijab and the abaya look for the rights that allow them to practice religion without any discrimination in the U.S. as it is a free country, a democratic country.

What is hijab?

The hijab is a scriptural warrant that Muslim women wear to cover their hair front of men; otherwise, they can show it up. A hijab has many styles in which it can be worn such as a scarf (hijab), a veil (niqab), or an abaya, (which covers everything from head to toe). How Muslim women choice to wear the hijab, depends on the country they live in. For example, in Saudi Arabia, women wear the abaya which means the abaya has become associated with Saudi Arabia’s culture and tradition.

The reasons Muslim women wear a hijab are related to faith, protection, identity and discipline. So, every woman who covers her head believes that they are maintaining the principles and disciplines that could protect them from dangerous circumstances. Also, the hijab identifies Muslim women, and helps others know how to contact and deal with them. Therein, the Islamic religion gives women respect, consideration, and dignity. By wearing the hijab Muslim women show the whole world how to communicate with them; decently, limitedly, and kindly.

How to deal with Muslim women?

An Islamic woman is not different from other, non-Islamic women. Muslim women may make regular contact with any person who respects her. Shealso has the rights to work, study, and be an important person in the community. Furthermore, she can direct and make decisions, obtaining positions, such as, director, manager, or politician. However, the biggest difference between Muslim women and non-Muslim women is that the men who are not considering a member of her family may not touch her, shake hands or see her without the hijab. Genuinely, Islamic women need your help in accepting their appearances and the right to practice their religion freely.

Similarly like some other ethnic groups, wearing the hijab and abaya in a community that is not home, is very hard. Muslim women do not feel entirely safe and secure, like at home. They may face unexpected things that bother and hurt them when they don’t wear the hijab. Genuinely, Muslim women need your understanding to practice their religion.


Ragheb Irqasous & Shimaa Alansari

International Students studying at Dominican


A student leadership project in cooperation with LISSA’s Propose a Project Service Committee

Apply Now For The 2014 ALA Student To Staff Program!

Want to be part of a long-standing ALA tradition while representing the Dominican GSLIS community? Here’s your chance, and here’s how:

“Each Annual Conference ALA provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 40 students engaged in ALA Student Chapters to participate in the Student-to-Staff Program (S2S). Established in 1973, S2S offers qualifying students the opportunity to attend an ALA Annual Conference and work behind-the-scenes with ALA staff. S2Sers in the program may attend meetings, programs, and other conference events in their spare time.

In exchange for working four hours per day at the conference from Friday through Monday (16 hours total), each participating student receives:

  • Free conference registration;
  • Free housing (sharing a hotel room with another S2Ser); and
  • A per diem for meal expenses.

To qualify for the Student-to-Staff Program, the student must be:

  • A current ALA member;
  • A member of an ALA Student Chapter; and be a member through the applicable Annual Conference; and
  • He or she cannot have previously participated in the program.
  • Students are eligible if they graduate in May immediately before the conference.


  • All students selected must be ALA members and current students during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference.
  • Each school has its own selection process, and the chosen student’s name must be submitted to ALA by the group’s faculty advisor. One student from 40 ALA Student Chapters will be accepted. Only one student per each of these ALA Student Chapters is accepted.

Transportation costs (such as airfare and cabs) are the students’ responsibility!”

library-300x226To apply, please submit an essay at least half a page in length detailing why you would be the best choice to represent Dominican at the ALA Annual Conference, 2014 in Las Vegas to by Wednesday, November 20. Click here to find the most up-to-date information about ALA S2S.

Volunteer At The Chicago History Museum!

Research Center Reference Assistant volunteer opportunity at the Chicago History Museum:

Chicago FlagThe Chicago History Museum has a great opportunity for a volunteer Research Center reference assistant. You can gain reference experience in a special library setting, increase your knowledge of Chicago and its history, get experience with building history and family history research, and learn to work with archival material. Attached is the position description, including a link to apply. Check it out here: CHM Volunteer Description.

Library Volunteer Opportunity

I have been working as a volunteer librarian at Oak Park Temple’s library since January. This is the Reform (very liberal) Jewish Congregation in Oak Park on Harlem. My main project is to transfer the catalog in Pro Cite, to so that the members of the congregation can view the catalog online. Procite is not very user friendly.

I would like to have some volunteers to help me complete this task. It can be done from anywhere that you have internet access and at anytime. I need help tagging the books with subject headings and adding in the call numbers for the non-fiction books.

Don’t feel weird about not being Jewish to volunteer. You will be able to learn about books for Jewish library collections, the Jewish subject headings, and how can be used to make any church library accessible to the public that does not have a formal catalog or classification system. There are a lot of excellent books in the collection, so just looking through the catalog could give you ideas of what to add to your own library that may be lacking in Jewish books in the future.

Please contact me at 708-712-3612 or


Rachel Fischer

School Library Volunteers Needed

I am a 2010 grad and the current librarian of Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School (Central & Washington in Chicago–about 15 min. from Dominican) This summer I have gotten over 1000 new volumes to add to our collection from another school that closed.  That means I have a lot of processing to do.  I thought I would check to see if any Dominican Library students would be interested in logging some volunteer hours.  You will get a good understanding of Destiny’s school software and build up some muscles lifting books! Ha!

It will take me quite a while to process this all on my own, so I am planning to slowly work the new volumes into the collection over the first semester.  Students who might want to volunteer can come during the school day or after school.  Just contact me and we can make arrangements that will work for both of us.

Kathy Donohue GSLIS ’10 Librarian
Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School 5608 W Washington Blvd Chicago, IL 60644

Help out at a Food Pantry

Oak Park/River Forest Food Pantry
Service Opportunity

Volunteer at the Oak Park/River Forest food pantry on Thursday, June 21st from 1:30-3:00 p.m. Help sort and stock fresh produce for the upcoming pick-up.

Contact Katie @ A.S.A.P. if you are interested in participating.

The OPRF Food Pantry is located in the basement of the First United Church of Oak Park. It is on the corner of Lake Street and Kenilworth. Park behind the church and walk down the stairs to the pantry. Sign in under the name “Dominican LISSA”. For more information, go to