I’ve been wearing the hijab for five years now. Putting it on each morning is a totally normal thing, like doing my hair. When I get home, I remove it. It’s simply a part of who I am.
Praying is also a part of who I am. Muslims do five daily prayers at very specific times, which sometimes means I have to stop my tennis match to pray. I’ve also prayed in restaurants and on the sidewalk outside of school.
Once, my friends and I were at an arcade when I stopped to pray. A woman started making weird faces at me, but my friends defended my right to practice my religion.
None of my closest friends are Muslim, but they support me and my religion. They even sample the spicy foods! I’m fortunate to have these friends in my life.
Making friends with people who appear different is incredibly important, and so is respecting and supporting them: It makes all of us stronger.