Interview with Sa’ida Jarallah
Read the excerpt on this page of an oral history interview taken by Professor Ellen Fleischmann. In it, Sa’ida Jarallah, one of the first Palestinian Muslim women to study abroad, discusses her life, especially the social and cultural aspects of growing up as a young woman in the 1930s.
This source is a part of the Analyzing Oral Histories methods module.
“We used to go to the cinema at the holidays. My father did not mind us going but my mother was against it and did not like us to go. But we did anyway. My father was more like the foreigners. They used to blame my father for letting us do as we wished. He loved us and respected us and treated us like real women. And those days, people still wore the hijab [the Islamic head scarf]. People used to look differently at me when I rode the bus to the Training College. Men used to look at me differently because I was not wearing the hijab. Once I was riding the bus and an old woman wearing the hijab recognized me. She said to me, “Sa’ida, do you think when you get married that your husband will allow you to go out without the hijab?” I answered her in front of all the men on the bus. “If Shaykh Hussam gave me the permission to go out without the hijab then there is no one in the world that can force me to wear it.”