It’s my faith to believe that through whatever I am doing with my life, I can contribute. I believe that what I am doing matters. It may change one person. It may change hearts. All I can do is do the work that I know how to do to create the change that I know needs to be created.
The Koran says that the condition of a people will never change unless they change what is in themselves, be it societal or individual, that needs to be changed. In other words, the Koran asks for self-examination to delve deep into the root cause of the problem. Meaning, if you want to create the condition outside, look inward first.
I have three closets. I have to think, what am I going to wear today, because I do multiple things. First of all, I have to be modest because that is something that is required of me, and I feel comfortable in those kinds of clothes. But I’m a bridge between cultures, and my clothes have to bridge the gap as much as I do. I am also a workingwoman who desires to look like any other workingwoman. So there is always this tussle: Do I project just the workingwomen? The blend of East and West? The traditional? And there are also the times that I play the role of religious leader, and I have to wear religious garb.
I have a coat from Kashmir that I wear a lot. Every time I wear it people know I am from another place, but it looks tailored. Then I have things for conducting marriages. And then I can just do a proper ordinary business suit. Some of us are cross-dressers in the sense that we are bridging many cultures. Our clothes project who we are. Clothing is part of our identity.