Kahadija

Khadidja, 22, grad student of Product Management at Devry University: “I was born in Ivory Coast, West Africa and moved here when I was 14. I was a freshman in high school. At first, it was hard to make friends because of the language barrier. I mostly stuck to myself in the ESL class trying to understand what everyone was saying. After a while I picking it up (English) and could communicate with people – make friends. I still have the same friends from high school today- they’re mostly from different countries in Africa, but none of them are Muslim. When people meet me, they don’t think I’m Muslim because I don’t always wear the hijab; I have my hair out and I’m dressed like everybody else, plus I’m black so they don’t assume I’m Muslim. I did wear the hijab from age 9 to 12 and people used to tell me, ‘You’re too young,’ so I stopped. Now I just cover my head sometimes when I have a bad hair day! I don’t consider it a hijab because that's quite a different thing really... it's a different mindset.”