Burqa Boutique by Brishkay Ahmed
Written with Ash Crescent.
‘In the midst of war, a multigenerational group of women take refuge inside a burqa boutique that's free from political allegiances.’
Somewhere in the region of the Middle East/Central Asia - sometime in our recent past - a civil war erupts in a country held together by opposing ideologies. A multigenerational group of women get caught in the middle as the Brother’s Republic Party and the Sons of Jihad clash. The women find refuge inside a burqa boutique that separates the nation into two distinct districts; the District of Noor and the District of Tariq.
The boutique provides a necessary service, hijab for women and girls crossing into Tariq and purchasing hijab from women and girls moving into Noor. Hijab is mandatory in Tariq, hijab is banned in Noor. Suddenly both the women of Noor and the women of Tariq are made to confront the realities of the past and make decisions for their future.
While the men battle for gold and copper, the women debate over identity and faith. Through one long night, Aisha, Hafsa, Zaynab, Khadeja, and Fatima consider their identities, as formed and framed by political parties, while a radio carries them through the battle.
Keywords: women, Islam, burqa, war, peace, political, religious, multi media, Middle East, Central Asia, community, security, and escape
Run time: 60 minutes
Content note: Contains references to war and violence.
Suitable for students 14+
Cast size: 6 actors
Male roles: 1
Female roles: 5
Other roles: 2
Casting note: Actors from Muslim backgrounds. Immigrants or refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, or Syria would be beneficial for the characters.
"Burqa Boutique delves into the multilayered identity of Muslim women and questions what the garment symbolizes."
- Hina Imam, The Georgia Straight