At women-only salon in Brooklyn, Muslim-Americans prepare for Eid
Nevien Shehadeh, 19, was one of many Muslim women who chose Le’Jemalik’s living room and shop in the Brooklyn neighborhood of New York to prepare for the Eid al-Fitr party.
The beauty salon, designed by owner Huda Quhshi to deal with mostly Muslim women, opened in January in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn.
“I actually started wearing the hijab a year ago,” said Shehadeh, a student in math and economics at Fordham University in New York.
“I always wanted to, but I was not ready. Actually, it was during Ramadan last year, a week before Eid has had that feeling of wearing the hijab.”
Shehadeh, a Palestinian-American, went with her two sisters, Shireen, 26 and Nisrien, 18, and her aunt, Najah, 37.
They remembered meeting Quhshi two years ago when the beauty contractor was hired to do the make-up at a family wedding.
Quhshi, 37, said that as Yemen and American women whose standards often prevented from cultural workplace, did not believe that creating a space where conservative Muslim women could receive beauty services a comfortable environment possible .
Between Wednesday and Friday Quhshi reported receiving 48 clients from Eid services.
“Most halls are not all women,” said Shehadeh, who plans to hold the Eid on Sunday at a beach in Staten Island with her family marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. “We feel at ease. We are not paranoid.
About 3.3 million Muslims live in the United States, according to data from the Pew Research Center, many celebrate Eid, one of the two most important festivals of the Islamic calendar.
“The beginning of Ramadan was very quiet, it was so slow, it was to the point that I thought about Ramadan,” Quhshi said.
“Then, suddenly, we had so many reservations that we have had to reject people.”
When the women arrive in the living room, they are invited to sit on a circular ivory sofa, decorated with jewels.
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The doors of the living room lead to a private area where guests pamper their guests in peach and white chairs.
Some are cut and colored. Others have done for their composition or elegant hijab Quhshi and his staff of six. A pedicure station functions as a haven of henna.
Shehadeh admired her haircut and died in the ornate mirror.
“We’re here to be pampered for the holidays,” Shehadeh said. “Even if we do not show our hair, it’s good for him to do it for himself.”
(Report of Gabriela Bhaskar in New York; Additional report written by Fares Melissa in New York, Edited by Leslie Adler)