A Chicago Muslim woman's essay detailing her accidental experiment of having her hijab concealed by winter weather clothing appears to have had a deep resonance far beyond "Chiberia."
In a Feb. 7 post titled "I Took Off My Hijab," Blogspot user leenamielus described what happened after she began layering up with a knit hat and scarf wrapped around her neck amid the Windy City's historic cold this winter:
"People started talking to me more. Women would speak to me like I knew them since forever. Men looked at me like I was actually approachable. And I was made to feel like I was actually from this planet."
After she realized what she was noticing likely had something to do with the winter gear concealing her hijab, or headscarf, she wrote that she felt more confident -- like she "had simply crossed over to another world for one season." Contrary to most Chicagoans, she began to look forward to heading outdoors and continuing her "experiment."
"The power of this experience lies in the fact that it was not an intentional experiment. It happened simply because of the Chiberian weather which required me to cover as much of by body with warm pieces of cloth."