On Wed. October 1st, 2003, Riverbend posted a blog that talked about 3 different types of things. She explained how people, including an anthropologists do not know the difference between a veil, burqa and hijab. She has read an article in the New York Times that presented this question to her. She talks about how much different the meaning of a veil or burqa is in Iraq as compared to in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia . (Riverbend, 92) She goes onto to say that in Iraq the most common worn thing is a hijab and not a veil. A veil is only worn by someone who is an "extremism". (Riverbend, 92) A veil in English is called a burqa. In Iraq it is called a "pushi", or a "khimar". When worn it is a piece of cloth that covers a women's face and head, sometimes without covering the eyes. The hijab, as described by Riverbend, is much different than a veil. A hijab or "rabta" is a cloth that wraps around a womens neck and head. This can be wrapped in many different styles. Most women in Iraq wear hajibs if they are "covered". (Riverbend, 92) The hijabs can be any color and design. The hijabs can be worn with any type of clothing as long as they are long enough and appropriate. Women wear teh hijabs to protect themselves from sexual harrassment. Riverbend goes onto discuss another type of garment that is called the abaya. This is a long cloak like garment is worn by both men and women. Riverbend describes it as a "traditional graduation gown". (Riverbend, 93) Many Muslims wear the headscarfs because it is important to them in their religion. Not evey women in Iraq wears them. Nobody is forced to wear a hijab or a veil.
Riverbend. Baghdad Burning. New York, NY. The Feminist Press. 2005