Three Pittsburg moms are taking on Islamophobia with “Barbie-compatible” headscarves in an effort to teach children to be more inclusive by exposing them to doll-sized hijabs.
Gisele Fetterman, Safaa Bokhari and Kristen Michaels created Hello Hijab to encourage inclusivity among the next generation.
“They will see it as a kind memory from their playtime, and then they will grow into a kinder generation, being used to playing with dolls that look different to them.” Fetterman explained.
Fetterman came up with the idea when she noticed none of her five-year old daughter’s dolls looked like many of her Muslim friends. Enlisting the help of her friend Safaa Bokhari and Pittsburg non-profit For Good, Hello Hijab was born.
The $6 handmade hijabs come with a card explaining what a hijab is, and will be available from April 1, with the proceeds going to non-profits which serve multicultural communities.
The women have received “dozens of hijabs from women who want them to be repurposed for this purpose.” The hijabs will be made from both new materials and hijabs that are donated to the cause.
Fetterman and Michaels say they have experienced some negativity, but “it just continues to validate the need for a project like this,” Fetterman said.
“It’s allowed for a lot of conversations, it’s allowed for an education, a lot of folks aren’t familiar with so much of it.”
“We’ve had people come up to us and say ‘I never knew it was called a hijab, but now I know, now I’ve read about it, and I’ve spoke to my children about it,’” she said.
“Barbies are played with all over the world,” Michaels said. “And there are Muslim women in America that are American who wear hijabs and also Muslim women in America who aren’t American and wear hijabs, and they should be welcome here.”