"Before this happened, I was shy and couldn't even look…
What does it mean to you to be a Muslim woman today?
When Bai Salam Ibrahim answered that question, her response was:
“The Beauty behind Threads of Imperfections”
Bai explains that the object she is wearing in this photograph is a Meranao woven garment called MALONG.
“This Malong is the strongest to represent my identity because it represents my culture,” says Bai. “Meranao represents me as a cultural worker who aims to promote and protect my culture through stage performances and through writing.”
She also told the story that “This garment is one of the most expensive and most preserved garments.”
“As a woman of my culture, I am also considered expensive who must be preserved and protected. This is how my culture sees us, women—precious jewels who have to be kept and protected.” — Bai Salam Ibrahim, Muslima Ambassador
“As a woman of my culture, I am also considered expensive who must be preserved and protected. This is how my culture sees us, women—precious jewels who have to be kept and protected.”
— Bai Salam Ibrahim, Muslima Ambassador
Malong is a circular garment which has a limited space. It covers the whole body.
Bai says, “Like me, I have limitations as a woman of my culture. I cannot walk as spacious as those of our men giving me the less freedom to express myself as a Muslim Meranao woman. Imperfect this object may be like that of my culture, but I believe that this imperfection is what made me a beauty of my own culture—a beauty behind this threads of imperfections.”
Bai also believes that such imperfections, like less freedom for women like her “can be made better if we women will fight for this freedom positively without giving up what ALLAH S.W.T wanted us, women, to be.”
Bonus: Want to know more about the “Malong?”
Find out here from the Filipino Global Community.
And watch this video:
“100 Ways to Wear a Filipino Malong”
demonstrated by Agalyn Nagase.
4GGL thanks Muslima for this inspirational wisdom.
Global Sorority is a nonprofit initiative created to support and promote awareness around gender equality, provide young women with sustainable leadership education, and facilitate a global sisterhood that mobilizes change, inspires action and creates economic opportunity.