Not Your Typical High School Prom Queen


Zarifeh Shalab

I was very touched by this story so I wanted to share it. It’s about a high school student in California who was recently crowned Prom Queen. Whether they admit it or not, many girls dream of being a prom queen but most wouldn’t even expect to even be nominated.  Zarifeh Shalabi, a high school senior in Fontana, CA, was one such girl. She never expected her name to pop up on the list for Prom Queen. And she wouldn’t strike most as a typical prom queen.

Zarifeh is from a conservative Muslim family and wears a hijab to school each day. In fact, her mother was not even sure that she would allow Zarifeh to go to the prom. “You don’t typically see a Muslim girl with a hijab go to prom,” she said. “It’s not our norm.” Yet, she was one of 30 girls nominated by students in her school’s Peer Leaders group.

After she was nominated, her friends began campaigning for her and to show their support and admiration for her commitment to her religion, her friends wore hijabs, just like Zarifeh does. Soon more girls were wearing hijabs to show their support for Zarifeh. In the end, Zarifeh took the title.

Zarifeh, you have a great group of friends. It’s heart-warming to see high school students who are so inclusive and show such support of each other’s differences. Kudos to you all and to your parents for raising children that celebrate the cultural differences that make their your school so much richer.

For more about Zarifeh, you can read the full story Devout Muslim named prom queen.

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."


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