Let’s cheer for this lovely prom queen from Fontana, California : Zarifeh Shalabi, 17. Zarifeh was chosen by her Summit High School classmates earlier this month.
According to the Press Enterprise, Zarifeh is a devout Muslim and wears a hijab, she didn’t expect to be nominated, but her classmates had other plans. They printed T-shirts with her name asking everyone to vote. They also wore hijabs to show everyone their solidarity.
“They wanted to wear hijabs, just like Shalabi does, to display their support for her in the most obvious way possible”
But Zarifeh’s classmates weren’t the only one’s campaigning; Zarifeh had to convince her own family to allow her to attend. She’s the daughter of observant Muslim’s and this isn’t something she would normally be allowed to do, but she was given permission by her parents when they realized that it would be a safe environment and how much her classmates cared for their daughter.
Zarifeh’s Mother told the NY Times, “I had no idea how much she is really respected and loved at the school”
For Zarifeh and her classmates this is more than just a win, they view it as a chance to show everyone that despite all the problems in the world, not everyone is a racist.
Zarifeh said her win “proved that not all Muslims are something to worry about.”
“They don’t see me as a threat,” she said, “they see me as their friend.”