I'm not sure of the title.
It's supposed to start with Aziza in the airport, and then a flashback into her past. The story is supposed to be about her past, leading back up to the present, and ending with her uncovering herself infront of a woman security person, and finally boarding the plane.
It's kind of in the format of a bunch of connecting short stories, each about an aspect or incident in her life.
'Mrs. Aziza Hashemi?'
'Yes, that is me.'
'Excuse me, madam,' the security personnel said. 'Will you please uncover your face?'
I wilted at the thought of going through this again. 'Sir, this is religious covering. I cannmot take it off, it is against my faith.'
'Madam, I understand that your bourkha is for religious purposes, but it is for the sake of national security. I'm sorry, but we cannot identify you fly if we cannot identify your face with your passport photo. And to do that, I will need you to uncover your face.'
'Sir, I'm sorry, but I cannot unveil myself to a man that I'm not related to.
The security man sighed. 'Well, there is not much I can do about that,' He almost called another man, but then suddenly turned back to me. 'Madam, would you be willing to uncover your face in front of a female staff member?'
Ah, I thought. This man is much smarter than other security men.
'Yes, sir, would that be possible?'
I gave a sigh of relief. The hot air from my mouth heated up the bourkha I was wearing. I skimmed over the edge of the fabric at the crowd. Some people were thaking their shoes off for security check. Some people were pushing suitcases onto the conveyor belt leading to the belly of the scanning machine. Some were picking up suitcases from the other side. A child tugged his mother;s dress, and pointed though the floor-to-ceiling terminal window at the plane we were to board. Men and women were in lines getting their passports checked by personnel- all male personnel of course.
And even in the midst of all the hustle-bustle, of all the activity, despite people having their own lives to lead, and despite most of them looking busy to manage it, some still had the time to look at me. A suspicious stare from the left, an appalling glare from the right, the awestruck look from ahead. I could feel a prejudiced death glare piercing my back like an arrow. Tears started welling up in my eyes. Fortunately or not, I don't know, everybody just glared at the bourkha, and not at the woman inside it, and so no one saw the teardrops leaking from the corners of my eyes, the overflowing tear ducts, the tear stained cheeks.
Oh Allah, I thought. I love you so much. I pray to you everyday, everywhere, I obey every rule you set and follow every piece of your advice. I keep you in my heart, mind and soul at all times, I have never gone against a word I thought had come true from your mind. I've done everything I could to be in your service. Why must I be punished this way?