Wearing el hejab, which is Arabic for "scarves" is very important for girls in the Muslim religion. It all started thousand of years ago when Islam was started by the prophet "Mohamed" (peace upon him) when Allah (God) told him, to inform all the men's wives to wear the scarves on their heads.
The importance of a woman covering her hair with el hejab has been written in the Holy Koran especially when you are in a foreign country where most people didn't hear about the scarves.
Wearing the scarves or el hejab is not just a piece of cloth. In fact it's a great responsibility that starts from the moment you start to wear the scarves. For some girls, the first time for wearing a scarf can be as early as seven years old. But it is different for everybody because girls start to wear them at different ages.
In Islam the women who wears el hejab, must talk clean words, also her heart must be clean of hate, anger and full of love and peace for everyone. She also has to cover her body except for her face, and hands. She must not show her hair to men except for her father, uncle, or brother.
Respect, safety, and expressing Islam are some of the important reason in wearing el hejab. Amina Khalid is a sophomore in Montgomery Blair High school who comes to school wearing el hejab.
"I started wearing el hejab when I was 12 years old, and at that time I was studying the Holy Koran," Amina said. "I knew how important the scarves are in Islam." She also says that it doesn't bother her when people ask her about the scarf. "I feel proud, when people ask me why I'm wearing it so I get to tell them the right answer," Amina explained.
Zakia Nor, and Jamila Negatu are also Blair students who come to school wearing el hejab. "I started wearing el hejab when I was 12 years old," said Jamila a junior in Blair high school. "The first time I wore el hejab to school, someone asked me why I'm wearing it, and asked me to get paper signed from the mosque and by my parents and this didn't bother me," said Jamila. She thought that maybe the reason for that is at that time students weren't allowed to come to school covering their hair without certain permission.
Being different from others can be difficult and hard for some student's. "Some times I feel that I'm strange in the classroom," said Zakia, a senior in Montgomery Blair who comes to school wearing the scarf. "Some students are kind of looking at you, but at the end when they get used to me and know it's my religion, it's okay," Zakia explained.
For Jamila, wearing el hejab was not hard. "I never felt strange in class," she said. "It's okay. Students got used to me."
Once women start to wear el hejab, they don't need to keep wearing it. When asked if they were going to continue to wear el hajeb, Jamila, Zakia, and Amina all said, En Sha Allah which means "God willing."
Today thousands of Muslim students who travel to the U.S.A are still wearing el hejab as part of the Muslim religion. Wearing the scarves doesn't mean they are different from others, but it's a way of expressing the Islamic religion, just like other students who express their religion around the world.