“I started wearing the hijab only after my mother came back from her Mecca pilgrimage in December last year. She used to nag at me to wear it all the time, but I’d just roll my eyes and pretend to be watching TV; I just wasn’t ready.

One day, I had a change of heart, and the thought of wearing it felt right. I think that’s what’s important for any Muslim girl; wear it when you are sincerely ready for the commitment.

I didn’t tell my mother about my decision to wear the hijab. She was asking me why there was one nicely ironed out on my bed before we left for dinner, but I kept quiet. I got ready and took a long time to put it on because I was just so inexperienced at it.

When I left the room, she was so stunned, but didn’t bring it up even after we had settled down at our table at the restaurant. It was very funny. I knew deep down inside that she was happy for me, of course.” – Nadia, 27