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Purity is a topic that has been explored in almost every single one of the works for this class. Often, there is some kind of significance to it—religion, culture/tradition, etc. In any case, a woman’s virginity is synonymous with her worth as a human being. A woman’s virtue also leads to her being respected by others for having honor; when Hisham discovers that Huda is still a virgin, he apologizes for treating her harshly earlier, for not treating her like a “proper” Muslim woman:

‘His eyes fill with tears. “I didn’t know you were a virgin. You’re a true Muslim and I’ve treated you as if you weren’t’” (Al-Shayk 139).

Huda understands all of this, and she is able to use it to her advantage to be seen as a good Muslim woman worthy of respect by her more devout acquaintances; she knows just how to manipulate Hisham in order for him to respect her, viewing her as a worthy woman instead of just a nuisance with modern ideas that do not match up with his more traditional ones. Having managed to escape the pressures of life as a Muslim woman by choosing to move from her devout community to Toronto, she is free to be and do whatever she wants–speak her mind, become a director of a play, dress how she wants. Her worth is defined not by her virginity but by her talents and intelligence. With this perspective, she is able to look upon the views of Hisham and his fellow Muslims towards women and realize that they are wrong. Without the experience of being able to live her life in the way that she wants, it’s unclear whether or not she would be able to realize how restricting traditional Muslim life for a woman is.

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