The Four Hijabs

Released: 2016
Runtime: 12 minutes, 6 seconds
  • Language:
    12 minutes, 6 seconds
  • Language:
    12 minutes, 6 seconds


The Four Hijabs is an animated short film that explores the multiple meanings of four hijabs mentioned in 16 Qur'anic verses and interprets then through an Arab Muslim feminist lens:

  • The visual hijab (the modest dress required of both Muslim men and women)
  • The spatial hijab (the separator between private and public spaces)
  • The ethical hijab (ethical values/practices required of all Muslims)
  • The spiritual hijab (the barrier that inhibits deep spiritual growth and new knowledge)

The Four Hijabs builds upon the groundbreaking work of the late Moroccan feminist writer and sociologist Fatima Mernissi. The screenplay, written by Jamil Khoury with Dr. Manal Hamzeh, is inspired by ideas in Hamzeh's book Pedagogies of DeVeiling: Muslim Girls and the Hijab Discourse (Information Age Publishing, 2012).

Creative Team

Lead Writer

  • Jamil Khoury


  • Dr. Manal Hamzeh


  • Elizabeth Wuerffel


  • Anna Hayden-Roy

Sound Recordist and Sound Editor

  • Peter J. Storms

Production Manager

  • Corey Pond

Arabic Subtitles

  • Manal Hamzeh


Arabic Version

Translated by

  • Dr. Manal Hamzeh


Cast (English)

Arti Ishak as FRIEND 1

Fin Coe as FRIEND 2

Monica Orozco as FRIEND 3

Melissa Canciller as ETHICAL HIJAB

Gordon Chow as SPACIAL HIJAB

Kaelan Strouse as VISUAL HIJAB

Rula Gardinier as SPIRITUAL HIJAB

Cast (Arabic)

Cast members chose to remain anonymous.


Supplemental Literature

"The four hijabs in the Qur’an"

"Gaining research access into the lives of Muslim girls"

"Deveiling body stories: Muslim girls negotiate visual, spatial, and ethical hijabs"

“Because I Am Muslim, I Cannot Wear a Swimsuit:’ Muslim Girls Negotiate Participation Opportunities for Physical Activity”

Special Thanks

  • Chicago Foundation for Women
  • Left Tilt Fund

Screening History

July 30, 2016 | Silk Road Rising, Chicago, Illinois

August 18, 2016 | The Living Theatre, hosted at Silk Road Rising, Chicago, Illinois

October 19, 2016 | Calumet College of St. Joseph, Whiting, Indiana

October 25, 2016 | Calumet College of St. Joseph, Whiting, Indiana

November 10, 2016 | Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

November 16, 2016 | University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

December 3, 2016 | George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

January 26, 2017 | Under the Gun Theater, Chicago, Illinois

February 15, 2017 | The University of Chicago Divinity School, Chicago, Illinois

February 23, 2017 | University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska

April 2, 2017 | Old St. Patrick's Cathedral, Chicago, Illinois

April 6, 2017 | New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico

April 10, 2017 | Benedictine University, Lisle, Illinois

April 11, 2017 | Governors State University, University Park, Illinois

April 12, 2017 | 8th Annual Women's History Conference, hosted at University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas

January 24, 2018 | Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

May 8, 2018 | Oak Park Public Library Main Branch, Oak Park, Illinois

September 21, 2018 | Auditório do Centro Nacional de Apoio à Integração de Migrantes Lisboa (Auditorium of the National Center for Support to the Integration of Migrants), Lisbon, Portugal

April 24, 2019 | Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

September 26, 2019 | The University of Chicago Divinity School, hosted at Silk Road Rising, Chicago, Illinois

October 30, 2019 | Siena College, Loudonville, New York

December 15, 2020 | Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, hosted online, Chicago, Illinois

April 19, 2021 | Chicago Commons Project, hosted online, Chicago, Illinois

May 13, 2023 | Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Loop, Chicago, Illinois

June 11, 2023 | Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Lakeview, Chicago, Illinois

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