Diaries of a veiled girl!!

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It was my first day at my new highschool in america,I was so excited that I stayed awake all night thinking about what iam gonna wear and how am gonna wear my veil,and to be honest I also considered taking it off many times, but no sooner than I forget all about that idea…I was veiled 2 years ago, and nobody forced me at all to be veiled,it was just my own choice, and since I was living in Egypt, it was very normal to walk in the street and find million of girls like me,but the problem started when dad’s work was shifted to be in the U.S.A.At first,I was so happy an excited as it was a new experience and I wanted to travel to America but when I knew that we will live there for a year,and that I will go to a high school there to continue my education,I was not happy.In fact,I was deeply annoyed because ofcourse I will leave my friends and my relatives and everthing I loved in Egypt ,but the most thing that worried me was how am I gonna leave in America and go to a school there while I’am veiled?How are people gonna look at me?will they consider me a terrorist like they do consider most arabs after the 11th of September?!!Well,all of these thoughts came into my mind and I even thought many times about taking my veil off!!but it were her words that made me exclude this idea out of ma mind; My mother’s…"laila,you were veiled with your own choice and nobody neither me nor your father forced you to take that decision and now if u really consider taking your veil off,we won’t force u not to,but you should know
That if u do this,it’ll be because you are afraid of facing people not because you wanna take it off,and this means you are not confident in youself or you have a low self- esteem,and my daughter leila is very confident and can face the whole world and force them to respect her and that’s my leila.".After I heard mom’s words I went to my room and kept thinking about it all night and in the morning I decided that I won’d take my veil off, and I will go to school and face everybody and prove to them that a veiled girl could be as much civilized and outgoing as a nonveiled one and that I am a normal Egyptian 15 years old girl.
Morning came, the sunshine made me open my eyes that weren’t completely closed as I couldn’t sleep well anyways,I woke up,took a shower,nd had my breakfast then dad told me to hurry up so that he could drive me to school before his work.When I arrived I kept looking around trying to find another veiled girl but there wasn’t,but I told myself to be confident ,friendly,and strong as I promised myself and my mother .However, I kept walking through the hall looking for my classroom and I thought that everyone was looking at me, but then I asked the first girl I me"hey,where is classroomB,plz" I asked ,then she told me that she is in the same class and to go with her . She was so friendly and when we sat in our places she told me”my name is Dianne,what’s urs?” “laila “I said, “laila,that’s a beautiful name,is it Egyptian?”she asked
“Yes,’am an Egyptian and it’s my first year in America,what about you”I said “well,I’am an American but I really want to visit Egypt one time,it seems to be a wonderful country” “well,it is indeed and you are welcomed at any time ofcourse”I said ,then we began talking about everthing and we took eachothers’ numbers and emails and we were chatting a lot and I really liked her very much in a very short time, and I think she liked me too..but the only thing we never talked about was my veil or anything about my religion eventhough I thought that this will be her first questions! Days went by peacefully and nobody annoyed me,ofcourse sometimes some students would look at me strangely and whisper but that didn’t happen a lot, and when it happened I would always remember mom’s words and Dianne was always beside me and she supported me a lot.The first semester was over and I was very upset surprisingly, but I kept going out with Dianne every week and she introduced me to some of the other kids at the school and we were hanging out on a daily basis and chatting, and when I knew more friends more questions were asked like the ones I thought Dianne will ask when she first knew me.I couldn’t say that they weren’t annoying but then I thought that if I answered properly a lot of information about muslims and arabs will be corrected to the American people,some of these questions really shocked me; like once we went to a café together and I orderd cuppicano,so one of the guys asked me:”Is it okay for muslims to drink these kind of drinks?”!! I was really shocked. I was like:”what do they think about us!!” but when I answered him i felt that I somehow helped in improving the image of arabs and especially muslims,other questions were like”what is Islam?”,”what are the forbidden things to do in Islam?”.and every time I answer and explain to them more and more about my religion, they listen attentively and they seem interested and I felt so proud.One time some of the girls came to my home and told me that they want to try the veil on their faces for fun,and I started to show them how to wear it , they were really excited and we had so much fun that day.No sooner than the second semester had begun and I became more involved in the school activities and with my friends, and ofcourse Dianne and I became very close friends and the days passed by and the year was over, I had to go Egypt to attend college there.To be honest,I knew that my friends will be sad and annoyed when I leave,but I never thought that they will throw me a farwell surprise party which was just awesome,we spent the whole night eating,drinking and singing,it was the best day in my life,an unforgettable day ,they all wrote cards for me telling me that I helped them to know more about a religion that they thought it was weird, helped them to respect Isalm an muslims,and that I influenced them in a way or another.Actually,reading their cards made me cry,I was really touched and I even wished to stay for another year .I left America very confident in myself , knowing about different cultures, and having lots of new friends who affected my life and my way of thinking as well .I left America proud of myself,my religion and my veil….



















Leila,













THE END





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 30, 2009 at 9:25 pm
good job, Yasmin! I wore the hijab as well and I am Egyptian too! your article make me feel proud and happy to wear the hijab. some people might not have a right image or idea of the hijab but good job on setting things straight. of course, you did not use correct grammar in a lot of places, so you could work on that, otherwise, good point well proven :)
 
Shereen.R said...
Oct. 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm
Amazing piece, I am a muslim , and your piece made me proud. We need more people like you to spread the message about our great religion. Keep up the good work
 
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