Jihad Alariachi, born in Amsterdam in 1983, became known to the general public as a television presenter. In particular, her role in the TV series “The Girls of Halal” and later “The Mama’s of Halal” stood out, in which she and her sisters Esmaa and Hajar looked critically at Dutch society. She is now a museum teacher at Tropenmuseum Junior, and gives training and workshops as a freelancer.
And, not unimportantly: she is a loyal customer of Elif Boutique, where she regularly comes by looking for her ideal burkini. We recently interviewed her about her preferences and tips that we would like to share with you.
When Jihad goes looking for a new burkini, she is fairly specific as to what the basic requirements of this should be: “ The burkini should not be leggings and the top should not be too tight. I prefer to have the sleeves tight. I also look for a dark color, because of shine through and not standing out too much. I also think it is important that the burkini is not made of a heavy fabric and that it does not look like pajamas. “The last time her eye fell quickly on a suitable specimen. She noticed this for two reasons: “ I thought it was important that it really slimmed down the shape. And the ruffles made the burkini look smooth! ”
Last summer she also wore the burkini ‘Pearl’ on her vacation, a model with long sleeves and trousers and with a beautiful pearl finish. She liked it very much, although she still had two small points of criticism: “ You cannot attach the top to the pants with buttons, something that was possible with my previous burkini. And he didn’t have a headscarf. I have worn my own (Amira) headscarf. I am also very satisfied. It is so covered and beautiful that you can already wear it on the way to the beach! ”
Its quality also surprised her: “ I was still worried about the pearls, but they are rock solid! The fit has also remained very nice. ”
She has purchased this ‘dream burkini’ from Elif Boutique, which, as far as she is concerned, is the best place to actually succeed in your search. “ Elif has so much choice that there must be something for you. Very nice that I could fit and that Elif took the time for this. It is also nice that she knows so much about the Islamic standards of coverage as well as the fabrics and quality. ”
Jihad first came into contact with Elif Boutique via Facebook, where she was in a group where other ladies shared beautiful pictures of their burkinis. “ I immediately fell in love with a burkini, which actually did not meet my wishes. But my attention was mainly drawn by the beautiful photos and the beautiful burkinis. Until then I had only seen practical and not really beautiful models. Very boring, more like a pajama or Teletubbies suit. ”
She had been sold since her first visit to Elif Boutique, when she discovered that she could find fashionable and hip burkinis here. She regularly recommends friends, family or acquaintances to visit Elif: ” Via social media , but also word of mouth !”
She has not yet tried the burkini in the Netherlands, although she recently heard about a place in Amsterdam where she could wear it: “ The Mirandabad, although I still have to try it out. I just have to cross a threshold. I really bought the burkini for holidays abroad. ”
There may be a threshold, but Jihad has the feeling that a burkini adds a lot of freedom to her life, especially now that as a woman she can also swim in public. “ I wear a hijab, so I cover myself in public. And with a burkini I can also enjoy the beach and my kids, and I don’t have to stay on the sand all the time. I think the burkini is super emancipation for the Muslim woman. Ultimate freedom! ”
The fuss that has arisen over the last few years about the burkinis, therefore, she finds heavily exaggerated. “ It’s an exaggeration, but it was to be expected. As soon as something changes in society and it bears the Islam label or you can link it to it, people quickly become allergic. ”
The name ‘burkini’ certainly does not contribute to the image of the garment, she acknowledges. After all, it is not much different than a fully covering surf suit or a wet suit. “ Burkini has a good taste, but is indeed not justified. By that name you think about the burka, and that is face covering – or even more, a big garbage bag. An all-covering swimsuit would be a better name. ”
Despite this controversy, Jihad certainly sees perspective in the burkini. “ I support these types of products enormously and I am very happy that someone is marketing this for us here in the Netherlands. I myself benefit enormously: thanks to the burkini from Elif Boutique, I had a great holiday, and I felt confident, free and beautiful when I walked on the beach. I wish that feeling to everyone.”