16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
At what point did I scare you?

Wearing a headscarf in America right now feels like a target. A target for attack, a target for ridicule, a target for people to tell you why you are offending them in a public space. At what point were you scared of me? Tell me please. Was it before I had the scarf on, just me being there with my almond eyes and full lips? Is that what scared you? Or was it after I put the scarf on, was this what triggered your fear? I had a man tell me when I was working at The Olive Garden in North Carolina that he could not work with me because I triggered his PTSD. He was in the military and had gone to Afghanistan multiple times. But the thing was, at that time I had no scarf on my head and no defining Arab attributes accept my face. My body. and what ever else triggered him. Was it the way I moved, was that too Arab for him? So in this piece I ask, at what point did I scare you?

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2018
Date Uploaded: 05.2018
Photo Location: San Francisco, California, United States of America
Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T5i
Copyright: © Naima Nazouari-Hill