First Hijab-Wearing Bosnian Mayor Changing Attitudes
Amra Babic, a trained economist, is challenging assumptions of Islam both in her native country and across a continent that struggles with accommodating diverse expressions of faith.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Since her election last year as mayor of the small Bosnian town of Visoko, Amra Babic has gained attention across her country and in Europe at large both for her political acumen as well as her choice to wear the hijab. Observers hope that by her example she can help heal deep rifts in the country's political system that continue to keep it well behind neighboring Serbia and Croatia in terms of development. Babic says, "I am European, I am Muslim. This is my identity...[The hijab] is what you see on the outside. But the strength is what’s inside."
What's the Big Idea?
Several countries, most notably France and Turkey, are grappling with how to accommodate conservative expressions of faith, such as the practice of Muslim women covering their heads in public. Bosnia is one of the few European countries with a majority-Muslim population, and for years its version of Islam was fairly moderate; even today, women say they experience job discrimination for wearing the hijab. However, despite this, more women are choosing to wear it, and in Babic they have found a role model. Says student Sumejja Essidiri: "When we cover our heads we say, 'Okay, I’m a Muslim and I’m open.'"
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.
- Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
- 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
- On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
We know the dangers of too little sleep. Now for the other side of the story.
- Western University researchers found that sleeping over eight hours per night results in cognitive decline.
- Oversleepers suffer similar difficulties on certain cognitive tests as those who sleep under seven hours.
- Not all the news is bad: One night of oversleeping results in a cognitive boost.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.