“And isn’t her grand-daughter a sweetheart? She’s so smart too- you could never guess she is only seven from the things she says! Always discussing hijab with her mother and grandmother- you’ll die from laughter at the things she says!”

Somehow I do not think I will die from laughter. I say: “But what is she discussing? They’re all so religious- all the women in that family wear the chador, don’t they? I mean, they’re all so consistently religious- what is there to discuss? It’s not like she sees other lifestyles, does she?”

A shrug of shoulders. “Well, there’s school- she sees other people at school. And her uncle has married a young woman who makes herself up like she’s J.Lo or something. As if she’s about to start dancing on MTV at any moment. The child sees, and questions. So cute!”

“Well, it may be cute now, when she’s only seven. But what about when she grows older- fourteen or fifteen? Won’t that cause problems in the family?”

More shrugging. “Her grandmother is praying… that her heart will change by then. It may, god can do anything. By that time, she will grow older, wiser, understand the values of the family…”

There is silence for a few moments. “… anyway, her father isn’t that religious… but he respects his family…”

More silence.

For those who do not know what the chador looks like:


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