Köpfe der Zukunft: Jana Kossaibiti

In Teil zwei der neuen KISMET-Serie spricht die Bloggerin Jana Kossaibiti über ihre Leidenschaft täglich das neueste aus der Modewelt zu präsentieren. Das Originalinterview steht vorerst in englischer Sprache zur Verfügung, eine Übersetzung folgt in Kürze.

KISMET: Jana you´re a medicine student and started a blog (Hijab Style) some years ago, which got very popular. Can you tell me what you are doing exactly and what motivated you for doing that?

Kossaibiti: I started my blog, Hijab Style, in September 2007. I already had an interest in blogging, but didn’t really come across blogs which focussed on Muslim women’s fashion and clothing. So I decided to start my own, which is all about style ideas and fashion inspiration for Muslim women who wear hijab.

KISMET: Jana Kossaibiti, you got very public. Why do you gained so much fame and still have so much success with your job?

Kossaibiti: As one of the first blogs to cover Muslim women’s fashion in depth, it caught the attention of the media, and that definitely had a big impact on the blog’s popularity. Writing for The Guardian and Vogue.com brought the issue of hijab into a new light, that was rarely explored previously.

KISMET: You have over 23.000 visitors. What do you think, why there´s such a rush on your blog. How do you cope with it?

Kossaibiti: Even though my blog is primarily aimed at Muslim women in the UK, I often cover international designers and of course style ideas apply everywhere. I think

KISMET: Born and raised up in London, having Lebanese parents. What do you say about yourself? Where do you belong to?

Kossaibiti: I think of myself as British-Lebanese, taking the best of both cultures.

KISMET: Is Fashion something important for every muslim girl/ woman? Does the cultural heritage play a big role or is it minor matter?

Kossaibiti: Everyone places an importance on fashion to differing extents. For Muslim women who wear hijab, often it means that they need to put in more effort than most when considering their clothing options. Cultural heritage, again, will depend on the person. Many Muslim women prefer to wear only their traditional clothing, whereas others will incorporate only parts of it into their outfits.

KISMET: How do you combine western fashion with the Islamic dress code? What does your experience look like? Is it hard?

Kossaibiti: I always keep in mind the basic Islamic principles, for example wearing loose-fitting clothes, and try to find items which fit within those criteria. Although that usually means lots of layering, since it’s difficult to find clothes which for example, are both loose fitting, high-necked and long-sleeved.

KISMET: You said in an interview muslim women are underrepresented. Why? What are you doing to change that?

Kossaibiti: Most of the media discussions around and hijab and Muslim women are extremely polarised, and rarely do you see Muslim women themselves speaking. There always seems to be someone else doing it on our behalf, whether it’s male religious leaders or Western politicians. I think my blog provides a place where Muslim women can talk about hijab on their own terms, without interference from others.

KISMET: The debating of topics like integration, women in Islam etc. is always current and ongoing. Which impact do you have on the English society? Can you be part of a successful integration?

Kossaibiti: I think the issue of integration goes much further than simply what people wear. It’s more to do with attitudes and how much people are willing to part of the wider society.

KISMET: Do you have a certain message, which you are certainly trying to make public? An higher goal?

Kossaibiti: I’d like for people to understand that hijab is a ultimately a woman’s choice, and that it shouldn’t be over-inflated and used for political purposes. At the end of the day, it really should be down to the women herself whether she wants to wear hijab, how she does it and what her reasons are.

KISMET: If you close your eyes and think about the future. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Kossaibiti: In ten years time, I hope to be enjoying my career as a doctor, as well as perhaps keeping up my interest in fashion on the side!

Interviewed by Nermin Ismail.(Picture: Private)

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