Yes, I’m Hot in This

Yes, I’m Hot in This: The Hilarious Truth about Life in a Hijab is a book of comics about wearing a hijab and being visibly Muslim in America by Huda Fahmy. I found it laugh-out-loud funny at times and a sharp social commentary at others. But it is so relatable, and that means a lot to me. This book pokes fun at the hilarity that can rather surprisingly ensue from a simple piece of fabric, and it speaks the truth about some of the more difficult things hijabis have had to face with honesty and empathy. 

The book’s main character (the same one as on Instagram) is named Huda, like the author. The comics are divided into six chapters based on loose topics.

Chapter 1—“Yes I’m Hot in This”—is about hijab in general.

Chapter 2—“My Born Identity”— is about being asked where you’re from and getting blank stares when you say “Michigan.” But it’s also about how you might have to deal with immigrant parents and families who remind you to remember your heritage and say things like “be proud of who you are” when you’re on your way out to the movies. And it’s about how, consequently, you don’t quite fit in anywhere.

Chapter 3—“Married to the Struggle”—is about Huda’s married life with her husband, whose name is Gehad. They use nicknames in public to prevent the chaos that would no doubt ensue if she were to call out “Gehaaaad” in a public place.

Chapter 4—“Yes, People Actually Say This Stuff to Me”— is about all the crazy stuff people actually say to hijabis in public. This chapter has microaggressions and macroaggressions and all the aggressions.

Chapter 5—“I’m Ready for My Close-Up”— is about pop culture and representations of Muslims.

Chapter 6—“It Never Hurts to Hope”— is about hope. Huda describes some of the hopeful signs she has already seen around her and others she hopes to see soon.

I recommend this book for every hijabi living in the West and for everyone curious about what it’s like to be a hijabi in the West. I also recommend this book as a gift for all the well-meaning but clueless people in your life; it tackles serious topics with humor and grace.

You can find it here: Goodreads | Amazon.com | Book Depository

Scroll down to see some of my favorite panels, and let me which you can relate to as well.

 

Nanni’s Hijab by Khadijah Abdul-Haqq

Nanni’s Hijab, a picture book by Khadijah Abdul-Haqq and illustrated by Vitchapol Taerattanachai, is a heartwarming and empowering book about a strong female character who uses her intelligence and empathy to win over a bully with love.

Everyone loves Nanni’s colorful hijabs. Everyone except Leslie, the new girl at school, who tells Nanni she hates her “stupid he-jobs,” spills milk on her, and pulls her hijab off one day on the playground. View Post

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

avleos

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons breakdancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down. [Taken from the publisher’s blurb.]

I really enjoyed this YA contemporary about a Muslim high school student who is the victim of constant microaggressions. 

The main character, Shirin, is the best part of this book for me. She is such a complex and fantastic character. So used to being disappointed, she has given up on her fellow human beings, and even stops looking at the people around her, out of fear. But she’s so smart, beautiful, and badass that she intimidates everyone. So the irony of the shell she’s built up around herself is that she’s put it up for her own protection, but everyone else thinks they need protection from her. View Post

Review—Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream by Ibtihaj Muhammad with Lori L. Tharps

proud-hc

Ibtihaj Muhammad’s new memoir begins on the first day of fourth grade. The teacher, who is finding the seven letters in “Ibtihaj” too difficult to pronounce, nonetheless locates Ibtihajj by connecting her last name (Muhammad) with the scarf she’s wearing. The teacher tells her that she’ll call her “Ibti” instead. Ibtihaj goes along with this, but she notices that her teacher doesn’t have any trouble with other longer names: Elizabeth (nine letters) and Jennifer (eight).

This story sets the tone for the rest of the book. Muhammad’s home environment was loving and supportive, but she was challenged in nearly every other space for the right to be present and to be herself: black, Muslim, and hijabi. View Post

Review—Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and illustrated by Ebony Glenn

mommys-khimar-9781534400597_hr

In Mommy’s Khimar, a powerful new picture book for children 4–8, a little girl plays dress-up in her mom’s scarves, imagining she’s a queen, a superhero, and a mama bird. 

mommys-khimar-9781534400597.in01

Her favorite scarf is the yellow one, and when she wears it, it’s a cuddle from her mom. Even when she takes off her khimar, she carries her mother with her. View Post