When people see me on the street or in the store they know my religion, they think they know what I am. The words that come to mind are foreigner, arab, terrorist, opressed, raghead, ESL, moslem, and of course the always loved swear words. The fact is these people don’t know who or what I am, or why I dress the way I do. Yes I am a muslim, not a moslem, and yes I am half arab but I am also american, born and raised. I do speak English and can in fact understand those words you mutter under your breath as I pass. I am not opressed or forced to cover myself, I chose to wear the long baggy skirts and shirts with my hijab, my headscarf. I chose to wear my long Abaya that protects me from those uncomfortable, disgusting stares from the boys at school. I decided to wear my hijab and follow what my god, Allah, told me and my fellow Muslims to do. I am not an overtrodden beaten down girl whose family’s intention is to marry off before I’m 20. I am a strong young woman whose family pushes me to grow to my full potential and reach for the stars. When you see a Muslim woman on the streets dressed in a hijab, do not think you know her. Neither the stereotypes or her hijab can tell you who she is, only she can.