Boldly Modest Declaration of Faith

From the Washington Post:

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.

It’s drizzling as she reaches the bus stop, where she huddles under an umbrella. The eighth-grader is normally chatty with an impish grin, but today when a couple of girls she knows slightly walk up, she mutters, “Hi,” and rolls her eyes self-consciously. Omigosh, I probably look horrible. Omigosh, everyone’s staring at me.

She closes the umbrella.

“Hey, Smar, if you’re not going to use that, can I?” one of the girls says. “My hair’s getting wet.”