"How I started wearing the Hijab" the title basically explains it...it's an essay about how I started wearing the hijab.

Essay by alaatallaJunior High, 9th grade November 2003

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It all started in the summer of 2000. My parents had been telling me a lot about the hijab, headscarf, and why it was so important to wear it, if you were Muslim that is. I was slowly accepting the idea of having to always wear the hijab, but I was still a bit unsure about how everyone would react at school. I was already the only Muslim at school, you could tell from my dark skin tone and looks that I was from some foreign country, and now I was about to make the decision of either standing up for my religion and beliefs which would result in my wearing of the hijab or not giving my religion any consideration, which meant I wouldn't wear it.

Yeah, it was a tough decision, well... until I found out something. Before I tell you what I found out, I just want to say real quickly that I was obsessed to my sisters, literally.

I wanted to do everything they did, just the way they did it. So when I found out that my sisters both had started wearing the hijab when they were in the sixth grade, I had made my mind up, right then and there.

I had decided that I would officially wear the hijab for good once the summer had ended, and the new school year had begun. In the mean time, I would be practicing. For practice, I started wearing head bandanas every time we went somewhere. Also, I practiced on not wearing any short-sleeved clothing; I started always wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants or jeans, and skirts. I had plenty of time to adjust and get use to the new situation.

Before I new it, summer had zipped right through and...