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Princess Hijab Brings a New Vision of the Niqab to the Paris Metro
September 22, 2011
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In May of this year, France became the first country to enforce a general ban against the niqab - the face-covering veil that some Muslim women wear. Now French courts have fined two women who continued to wear full-face veils in defiance of the law. Hind Ahmas and Najate Nait Ali were caught wearing the niqab in public outside Meaux town hall in Eastern Paris, soon after the ban came into effect.

The niqab ban and its outcomes have been watched closely by other European countries, many of which now have or are planning similar legislation. But one artist is offering a different take on the issue: Princess Hijab, an anonymous Parisian graffiti artist, has taken to the streets in order to "hijabize" or "niqabize" advertisements and other imagery.

Princess Hijab works primarily in the Paris Metro at night, using thick marker to hide models' faces under an opaque black face veil. According to the artist, the process of hijabizing offers the models "a new visibility, a different point of view, which can be disturbing." She believes the process helps to change people's point of view on veiled faces: "some are amused, they find it humorous - you have to make the hijab much less scary."

Check out a short documentary on Princess Hijab below:

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