So, today was interview day, and I've never been so nervous in all my born days. Here I was, sitting in the reception of the BBC in Norwich, about to talk about something that I know very little about. After all, I've only been doing this for 8 days and to be honest I am the last person anybody should talk to about Islam! However, once I got into the studio I sat and breathed deeply and tried to calm my nerves. I just kept telling myself that all I had to do was to be honest and give my opinion and not say anything that I couldn't back up.
The interview went by in a blur once it got started, but I remember thinking that Catrin, the lady who interviewed me, was really lovely. I felt safe in her hands and I knew she wouldn't ask me anything that I couldn't answer. She asked me about the hijab I was wearing, the support that I had received and what my thoughts on Islam were so far. I answered honestly and emphasised that Islam is a beautiful religion and that it is simply a case of people not listening rather than Muslims not having a voice.
After my interview, I spoke to the producer of another show on the BBC Asian Network. He asked me some background questions about myself and my views and so forth, and was generally very lovely. I was also told that I will be speaking live on the show, which goes out on Friday - a rather large surprise for me as I did not expect to go out live! Hopefully I won't make a complete fool of myself live on air, but no promises! I then went outside to have my photo taken both with the hijab on and with it off, and I surprised the photographer with how much hair I actually have - something that highlighted a rather interesting point for me. After all, under a hijab you can never tell exactly how much hair a woman has, which is always fun!
I am still amazed by the support and interest that my story and World Hijab Day has received - it really is amazing. I just hope that the message will continue to spread and that more and more women will don the hijab for a day or, failing that, go and talk to Muslims and ask them for their story. The best thing anybody can do is to ask about Islam because if you don't ask, you won't know and if you don't know then how on earth are you supposed to understand people?
I hope that my Muslim brothers and sisters who listen to the interview on Friday will be happy with it - I did not do the interview to offend anybody, but to highlight the stories of the Muslim community. If I do upset anyone, I apologise profusely.