The Cemetery of My Identity

Author’s note: I was on a trip and had to wear a burqa and it hurt me; I couldn’t talk, couldn’t move, and couldn’t breathe. The only thing I could do was write down my feelings. Thanks to God that I have the writing blog now.

burqaI see from
the windows of my burqa
but I do not see.
Where is the sky?
The world is not so big for me.

There is no world.
I live in the prison
under my burqa
no permission to breathe the air.
I am a woman

Men are jobless.
With nothing good to do,
they discovered burqa for me.
There is so much under my burqa
It is the cemetery of my identity
A woman’s grave
Prison of the air
Enemy of my personality

I love my hejab
I love my Allah
I love Islam
But the burqa is not the hejab
if it is, why don’t I wear it when I pray?

I ask you God
I ask you God

By Roya


  1. Roya,
    What a great title for this poem. You do an excellent job describing how the burqa made you feel.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Roya, I agree! your title is a poem in itself. I was very interested in the the fact that you say you love your hejab but you detest the burqua. It seems many non-muslims do not make this distinction.

  3. kathy cowan says:

    Dear Roya,
    I feel privileged to read your words and to think of all the implication of the burqua for you.

    Thank you for giving your prayers the life of words,


  4. Roya Salaam Alekum
    I was very touched by your poem and could feel the pain and restriction in your description of having to wear a burqa. I cannot imagine having to live like that. You are a brave person and the burqa will not take that away from you. Thank you for reminding me of how much freedom I have.
    Blessings, Adina

  5. Your poem is beautiful and strong.

  6. Pam Hart says:

    You have come up with a powerful way to describe the loss of your self inside the burqa: “the cemetary of my identity,” and “enemy of my personality.” These give me a sense of what it must be like for you. These words also show me that you are indeed strong because you can write this way. Thank you for your poem.

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