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Open Cultural Studies

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Re-thinking the Veil, Jihad and Home in Fadia Faqir’s Willow Trees Don’t Weep (2014)

Dallel Sarnou
Published Online: 2017-10-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0014


In her latest novel Willow Trees Don’t Weep(2014), the writer Fadia Faqir decided to go against the grain as a Muslim woman coming from the Middle East but lives in Britain and write about jihad, terrorism and Taliban. In this novel, the author negotiates meanings of secularism, fundamentalism, jihad, fathering, women and wars. The novel’s protagonist, Najwa is torn between her mother’s secularism and her father’s religious fundamentalism. In her homeland, Amman, Najwa is different from many other girls of Amman because she does not wear the headscarf that represents hijab, a religious garment, in many Muslim countries. However, when she travels to Afghanistan to trace her father, Najwa meets women wearing the burqaa, a head-to-toe veil. This might be an unexpected re-consideration of this garment as a symbol of freedom because she met veiled women who are self-determined and emancipated from within. Therefore, this article sets out to explore how the novel’s protagonist re-considers the veil, home and self-discovery.

Keywords : Veil; home; jihadi; religious fundamentalism; secularism


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About the article

Received: 2017-07-10

Accepted: 2017-09-11

Published Online: 2017-10-12

Published in Print: 2017-10-26

Citation Information: Open Cultural Studies, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 155–160, ISSN (Online) 2451-3474, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0014.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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