At times quite humorous and at times rather dejecting, Yes, I’m Hot in This: The Hilarious Truth about Life in a Hijab by Huda Fahmy is an insightful account of the various every day encounters Muslim women face as a result of the attire they wear for their religion. The truth is, many of these people are not given understanding and empathy or even the chance to share their culture and religion with others. Rather, many people in America make their own assumptions based on misinformation and propaganda. But fortunately, there are books like this graphic novel to counter the disastrous damage that has been done to this culture and these people.
What Yes, I’m Hot in This does exceptionally well is show that, in spite of the insufferable and unreasonable stereotyping and nonsensical lies spread about this culture, people in Hijab’s are just that: people. They live lives similar to everyone else’s in a great many ways, they enjoy reading books and watching television the same as many others. The major difference lies solely in their religion.
While I’m personally not a fan of any religion, I do find it utterly despicable that often this world seems to pick and choose which religions are okay and which ones aren’t. This world tries to make up some nonsense about how religions that don’t match their own are evil in some way–which might be, honestly, why I tend to dislike religions in general as they always seem to bring about some ridiculous fight over whose god is the “real” god–and I think it was truly wonderful to receive an insight into the struggles of a Muslim woman looking for a place to pray. And, in true typical fashion, the white friend character made little effort to understand.
Overall, this book was pretty wonderful. While it did make me sad at times I felt that it was also a very realistic, raw, and true commentary on the world today regarding how many Americans treat other cultures unfairly. Just as Huda hopes for a better world filled with more empathy and understanding, I too hope that we can one day reach a point where that is possible. And if there’s anything to show for the fact that, miraculously, this world is making progress it is the fact that this book is going to be out there on December 11th for people to broaden their understanding of a culture and religion that is not their own.
And I hope it has an impact in changing the way others think about and react to the kind, good-natured people who do in fact share a great many things with others and yet have been ostracized for ridiculous reasons in this country.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.