Hijabi Student Nominated Prom Queen

CAIRO – Making her first visit to the school’s prom, a young hijabi Muslim student had a pleasant surprise after being named as the prom queen, winning support and love of her colleagues.

“You don’t typically see a Muslim girl with a hijab go to prom,” Zarifeh Shalabi, 17, a senior at Summit High School, told Pasadena Star News.

“It’s not our norm.”

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Shalabi is a devout Muslim who attends Summit High School.

This year’s event was the final chance for the young woman to attend the prom as many of her friends were going, without dates. So she paid $100 for her own ticket.

At the prom, she was surprised to be nominated along with other 30 girls for the title of prom queen.

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Shalabi’s nomination came from fellow members of the school’s Peer Leaders group.

Later on, she was shocked to hear her name in the five finalists’ list.

“My friend Savannah said, ‘we have to start campaigning.’ ”

On the next day, Shalabi and her friends printed up bright green T-shirts emblazoned “Vote for Zarifeh.”

Her friends went a step further by donning hijab as a show of support, the move that encouraged other girls to ask for wearing them.

For young Shalabi, the experience offered her special memories for life.

“Even if I don’t win, it’s still been such a great experience.”