Speaker:

Joanne Klein

Women and the Veil in Middle Eastern and North African History

Contrary to American stereotypes, the veil is not a symbol of repression within Islam. The veil predates Islam by centuries and has been worn by women of many faiths around the world. It has served both practical and symbolic purposes. This talk will explore the role of the veil and Islamic dress for women and men in Middle Eastern and North African history, including the complexities of the veil’s religious, social, and political meanings. It will present a more realistic picture of the purpose of the veil and Islamic dress, including its advantages and disadvantages, within the context of Middle Eastern and North African cultures.