As a hijabi Muslim student in Tarrant County College (TCC) in Texas, Rana Huwaidi’s hijab has never been a problem in the tolerant campus, The Collegian reported.
“Being Muslim gives me hope,” Huwaidi said.
“It shows me that it’s okay to feel like nothing is going right, but that there is always relief at the end of a situation.”
Huwaidi was born in Texas after her parents immigrated from Jordan to give her and her siblings a better life.
When she reached 16, she decided to wear a hijab as a proud Muslim.
“I chose to wear the hijab because I wanted to show people I was proud of being Muslim,” she said. “I found the beauty behind it,” she added.
Though she rarely encounters hate attacks, the Christchurch terrorist attack in which 50 Muslims were killed shocked her.
“I felt like the entire world was against my religion,” she said.
“I felt scared. I didn’t want to leave my house for days after it. I was scared that if people saw me wearing a hijab, they’d discriminate against me.”
Spending a part of her life trying to spread the true image of Islam, Huwaidi believes that NE Campus is diverse.
She is currently attending TCC to pursue a degree in speech therapy. She said that she’s always loved inspiring change.
“I’ve always wanted to help change someone’s life,” she said. I love seeing people improve and better themselves.”
“TCC is very accepting,” she said. “The student body and staff are welcoming towards different cultures, a feeling I never got while I was in high school.”
Lana Yassin, another Muslim student at TCC who pursues a degree in journalism, believes the campus is a safe place for Muslim students.
“Thankfully, I believe that TCC is a safe space for Muslims,” Yassin said.
Yassin has always been an advocate for equality, supporting DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an administrative program created under the Obama administration that protected immigrants who were brought to the country illegally.
Yassin believes that helping others is something she learned from being Muslim.
“I want to use my voice for those who can’t,” she said. “It’s my job as a human being to help those in need, no matter who they are or where they come from.”
Rameesha Khan is also a part of the Muslim community at TCC.
Though she does not wear a hijab, she says she is a proud Muslim.
“I am proud of being Muslim because it makes me who I am,” she said.
“Islam teaches me so much about life, morals, and values. It gave me a purpose in life. There are thousands of people who hate us or try to diminish us, but we still manage to stand up and spread love and positivity.”
Khan believes that it is important for Muslims to come together and support each other.
“Sometimes a person just needs to be heard and get some guidance,” she said.
“Regardless of religion, we as humans are always here for each other because all religions teach humanity and peace, and I respect that.”
Many efforts have been exerted to bridge gaps inside the Texas society.
According to a Pew Research Center’s 2014 report ‘Religious Landscape Study: Texas’, Muslims represented 1% of the total population of Texas which has about 28,304,596 million people according to 2017 estimates.