WITH HER FIRST major project, “The Hijabi Monologues,” writer and performer Sahar Ullah has created a space in which Muslim women can share their lived experiences. She invites others into that space on Sunday at the Kennedy Center, where she’ll perform the work and lead a post-performance discussion.

The South Florida native says such a forum is needed to help a post-9/11 American public see the humanity behind the hijab, or headscarf, worn by many U.S. Muslim women.

An episodic play styled after Eve Ensler’sThe Vagina Monologues,” “The Hijabi Monologues” uses 12 true-to-life stories.

“The project’s purpose is to humanize one of the most viably noticeable minorities in America — women who wear the hijab,” said Ullah.

But “The Hijabi Monologues” does not deny the reality of a wide range of active Muslims, or empower “moderate” Islamic voices above others.

“Before we can talk about ‘moderate’ Islam or ‘radical’ Islam, which are very abstract terms, we have to understand that this is a human community, warts and all.

“By having Muslim women tell their own stories — in their own voices — they can take their voices back instead of others speaking for them.”

» Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW; Sun., Nov. 22, 6 p.m., free; 202-467-4600. (Foggy Bottom)

Written by Express contributor Johnathan Rickman
Photo courtesy Avery Willis