Known as a melting pot of culture, religion and ethnicities, New Zealand continues to amaze us with their sense of unity and strength through the years. If there's one heartwarming news that's opening the door of possibilities for the Muslim community in New Zealand, this is it!
In November 2020, Constable Zeena Ali became the first member of the New Zealand Police to wear a specially-designed hijab as part of her uniform! ?
In New Zealand Police's Facebook post, Zeena shares how great it feels to step out and show the New Zealand Police hijab because she participated in the design process as well.
Since her early days in the Royal New Zealand Police College, Zeena's journey has been nothing short of welcoming. In the post, she talks about how the staff would organise halal meals and a prayer room during her training. 'When I had to go swimming, I was able to wear long sleeves - a full swimsuit," she said.
She was inspired to join the New Zealand Police when the Christchurch terror attack happened in March 2019. 'It was when I was just training to get into police, that the Christchurch terror attack happened and if I was a fully-fledged constable then, I would have gone down to support the victims and their families,' Zeena shares in the Facebook post.
Seeing a New Zealand Police officer wearing a hijab for the first time will definitely send a welcoming message to the Muslim community in her country. 'Having a police-branded hijab means women, who may not have previously considered policing can do so now. It's great how the Police incorporated my religion and culture.'
'I am thrilled the Police went out of their way to make sure the hijab I have on meets health and safety requirements as well as my own personal needs.'
We're definitely excited to read more about Constable Zeena Ali in the future! If you're planning to visit New Zealand once the international border reopens, keep your travel spirit alive with our recommended reads below: