Reflections of Youth

Empowered

nourMy name is Malak, a freshman at Lane Tech High School. As residents of Bridgeview, girls may find it quite inviting to attend the Friday prayer, enjoying its peacefulness and unique communal gathering. Unfortunately, in some places in the world, some girls are not allowed to be an active participant in the Friday prayers due to conflicts of traditions and culture.

In my recently published short story titled “Nour’s Friday Prayer”, I share the story of a little girl named Nour who is excited to wear her new prayer clothes, carry her prayer beads, and accompany her mother to the local mosque in Damascus. She faced a number of obstacles in her journey. But, joyfully, she overcame them with her patience and determination. The story is a mixture of my own personal experience at a younger age and other fictional elements.

Parents will find this story, narrated through a young child’s feelings, to be simple and appealing. It emphasizes deep morals and strong encouragements for respect, gratefulness, and raising a sense of confidence and independence in our culturally and religiously mixed modern societies. My ultimate goal is to help readers, Muslims and non Muslims, of both genders to be aware and more educated as to the role of females in public life including attending religious rituals and practices. I would love females to be confident in pursuing public roles and be proud of their accomplishments and contributions in any communal practice.