Boldly Modest Declaration Of Faith

November 15, 2009

Author: Tara Bahrampour

Source: The Washington Post

Smar Abuagla steps out her front door at 7:20 a.m., her shoulders slightly hunched, her eyes watchful.

Last year when she made this walk to the bus stop on the first day of school, she was wearing black skinny jeans and a short-sleeved T-shirt; her hair was in braids. But this year she's a different Smar. In addition to looser, more modest clothing, her hair is completely hidden under a head scarf.

It is a look that not only sets her apart from most girls at her Reston middle school but also proclaims her as a Muslim, a religious minority in a country that sometimes associates her faith with terrorism and acts of violence.

Most of Smar's friends and classmates have never seen her in the scarf before. Smar, 13, has no idea how they will react.