World

Photo Essay : The World From Behind The Niqab

NEWS WORLD INDIA | 0
111
| } May 23 , 2015 , 10:50 IST
  niqab feature Across the Middle East and elsewhere, some conservative Muslim women only look out at the world around them from behind the veil. The niqab is a choice, for most. Some wear it out of their own interpretation of the Quran and the hadith, a collection of traditions and anecdotes about the Prophet Muhammad, believing that a woman's body should be covered out of modesty. As a photographer for The Associated Press, Hassan Ammar traveled across the Middle East and often saw women wearing the niqab. In his home country Lebanon, how a woman dresses remains a personal choice, as some wear bikinis out to the beach, while other Muslims wear head scarves or the niqab. But with the rise of the extremist Islamic State group in neighboring Syria and Iraq, the militants have forced women in areas under their control to wear the niqab. Penalties for disobeying them can be incredibly harsh — even death. That means those women now see the world differently than they did before. A niqab is a veil that entirely covers the face or only has a small, slit-like opening for the eyes, changing the way a woman wearing one views life around her. Women also have to lift them up slightly to be able to eat or drink anything. In his travels, he decided to begin shooting images through a full niqab to offer a glimpse of what it must be like to look through them. In his hometown of Beirut, he shot pictures of its famous corniche that way, the bright colors of the Mediterranean dimmed through it. The same happened at the Giza pyramids in Egypt, where a sunny blue sky grew dark. Despite that, some women say they welcome the anonymity and protection from harassment the niqab offers. Here are a series of AP photographs Hassan shot of life viewed through the niqab across the Middle East.   [caption id="attachment_38473" align="aligncenter" width="770"]niqab 1 A 32-year old Lebanese woman, whose father is a Shiite Muslim and mother is a Sunni Muslim, posing for a photograph, on the roof of her home in Beirut, Lebanon.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38417" align="aligncenter" width="770"]Muhammad al-Amin Mosque, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. The photo, top, was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. Muhammad al-Amin Mosque, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. The photo, top, was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38418" align="aligncenter" width="770"]Girls celebrating a birthday at a home in Beirut, Lebanon. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. Girls celebrating a birthday at a home in Beirut, Lebanon. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38419" align="aligncenter" width="770"]Women walking on the Corniche, or waterfront promenade in Beirut, Lebanon. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. Women walking on the Corniche, or waterfront promenade in Beirut, Lebanon. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38420" align="aligncenter" width="770"]People walking past a shop displaying belly dancer outfits at the Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo, Egypt. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. People walking past a shop displaying belly dancer outfits at the Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo, Egypt. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38422" align="aligncenter" width="770"]A father taking the photograph of his son at Al-Azhar Park, one of the bustling city’s few public parks, in Cairo, Egypt. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. A father taking the photograph of his son at Al-Azhar Park, one of the bustling city’s few public parks, in Cairo, Egypt. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38423" align="aligncenter" width="770"]Children riding the merry-go-round at a park in Beirut, Lebanon. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. Children riding the merry-go-round at a park in Beirut, Lebanon. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38425" align="aligncenter" width="770"]The historical site of the Giza Pyramids near Cairo. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. The historical site of the Giza Pyramids near Cairo. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38426" align="aligncenter" width="770"]A man leading tourists riding horses at the historical site of the Giza Pyramids near Cairo. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. A man leading tourists riding horses at the historical site of the Giza Pyramids near Cairo. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38427" align="aligncenter" width="770"]A woman walking at Al-Azhar Park, one of the bustling city’s few public, in Cairo, Egypt. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. A woman walking at Al-Azhar Park, one of the bustling city’s few public, in Cairo, Egypt. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38428" align="aligncenter" width="770"]A family enjoying the ancient port city of Byblos north of Beirut, Lebanon. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. A family enjoying the ancient port city of Byblos north of Beirut, Lebanon. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38430" align="aligncenter" width="770"]An Egyptian woman looking through a telescope on the observation deck of the Cairo Tower in the Zamalek district in Cairo, Egypt. An Egyptian woman looking through a telescope on the observation deck of the Cairo Tower in the Zamalek district in Cairo, Egypt.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38431" align="aligncenter" width="770"]An Egyptian guide waiting for tourists at the historical site of the Giza Pyramids, near Cairo, Egypt. The photo, top, was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. An Egyptian guide waiting for tourists at the historical site of the Giza Pyramids, near Cairo, Egypt. The photo, top, was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38432" align="aligncenter" width="770"]Lebanese citizens walking on the Corniche, or waterfront promenade in Beirut, Lebanon. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. Lebanese citizens walking on the Corniche, or waterfront promenade in Beirut, Lebanon. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]
  [caption id="attachment_38433" align="aligncenter" width="770"]A girl jumping at the public beach of Ramlet al Bayda in Beirut, Lebanon. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab. A girl jumping at the public beach of Ramlet al Bayda in Beirut, Lebanon. This photo was shot through the lowered veil of a niqab.[/caption]