Playwright and actor Rohina Malik inspires with “Unveiled

By: Taylor Fulkerson ~Opinion & Editorials Editor~

Islam is often dragged into discussions on what “terror” and “post-9/11 America” mean, along with a host of stereotypes ofMuslim men and women.

However, Rohina Malik’s one-woman play, “Unveiled,” sheds genuine, meaningful light on the mischaracterized persona of the Muslim woman.

Malik performed her play — which depicts five women of different nationalities, customs and lifestyles — as part of Alternative Breaks week.

All five women’s stories center around their struggles as Muslim women — in the extreme racism of London, in the face of hate crimes and in the chaos and confusion on the day the World Trade Center fell.

The performance prompted both moments of laughter and reflection from a large audience of students who attended despite slick roads and cancelled classes.

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Rohina Malik playing Noor in her one-woman production “Unveiled.

Malik’s performance was impressive as she transitioned from one character to another, from a South Asian Londoner to a Pakistani American.

The characters in “Unveiled” all wore the hijab, or veil, by choice. Malik rapped in Part Three as a South Londoner and said, “You can call me oppressed/ But I won’t be undressed/ I’m not your Bollywood erotic/ Harlem girl exotic.”

The production also focused on themes of motherhood.

“We believe Paradise lies under the feet of the mother, so honor and respect mothers,” Malike’s first character, Maryam, said in response to harassment,

She also focused on the struggles of a mother to retrieve her children from school on Sept. 11, 2001, in the midst of an angry mob in Part Four.

The performance was accompanied by a professional oud player. The traditional guitar-esque instrument set the tone for the performance as a whole, giving each part of the performance its own style and sound.

“Unveiled” was an enlightening performance that offered an often-ignored perspective.

The production demonstrated Malik’s talent and sense of what Americans must hear to understand what the “other” means.