Mawadda: The Hygienic Hijab For Medical Workers
By: Alison Norquist / Contributing Writer
As we come upon the three-year anniversary of the beginning of the pandemic, it has become just as important as ever to be using precautions against infection. While the world continues to struggle with COVID-19 and increases in other illnesses, the need for “culturally inclusive personal protective equipment” has grown with few options for Muslim medical professionals.
What is Mawadda?
The hygienic hijab is a disposable, FDA-approved form of PPE (personal protection equipment) that allows Muslim and other modest professional women in healthcare to conceal their hair that is both safe for them as well as their patients. While many have made do with either making their own garments or simply covering their everyday hijab with what was available, there had not been a readily-available option. With Mawadda, hijabis are able to adhere to medical regulations, have the same access to disposable PPE, and have their culture preserved and honored.
Prior to the creation of the hygienic hijab by Yasmin Samatar and Firaoli Adam, Muslim and modesty-adhering women in the medical and care fields would have had to wear their standard cloth hijabs and possibly add a medical cap over the top. This does not protect the wearer, instead, any bacteria or viral-contaminated fluid or air could contaminate the fabric to be later exposed to the wearer. Considering that most PPE needs to be disposable and discarded between patients or if contaminated, that left hijabis with either an unsanitary hijab or the lack of dignity at the expense of adhering to medical regulations.
Who are Yasmin and Firaoli?
Somalian Yasmin and Oromo Firaoli are respiratory therapists working in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. During their time working in the area’s hospitals, the two found that there was a lack of PPE that allowed them to continue to practice their modesty while adhering to the stricter guidelines put out by the CDC regarding PPE. This then leads them to create the two styles of hijabs that are available, one that is a pullover and the other that ties.
After a successful fundraiser through Kickstarter, Mawadda was officially off the ground. Currently, hygienic hijabs are available for purchase through their website in packs of ten. Yasmin and Firaoli also urge healthcare workers and patients alike to not only use their products but advocate for them to be available in hospitals and other medical facilities. While some may argue that it is a pretty penny for what is likely not going to be used by all, it is a matter of dignity for all that is at the core of the issue.