Muslim women explain the hijab at Saturday event

Saima Ahmad moved to the United States from Pakistan in April 2001.

A few months later, planes slammed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

Immediately, Ahmad, who wears the hijab, began noticing the stares. “It (distrust) was in their eyes,” said Ahmad, a member of the Georgia Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association.

Things repeated themselves after the terrorist attacks in Paris and California. The stares. People avoiding her.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association will hold a program, “I Stand With My Muslim Sister” from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Baitul Ata Mosque, 1800 Willow Trail Parkway N.W. in Norcross.

The free event, for women only, is open to non-Muslims and Muslims .

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It’s designed to create awareness and understanding about the practice of modesty in Muslim women, including wearing the hijab.

Ahmad, for instance, wears the hijab ” because my faith directs me to do so,” she said. ” It empowers me to be the person who I am and I am confident that I am more than my looks and my beauty. It also reminds me to do the right thing since people will judge my faith based on my actions.”

Speakers include Slma Shelbayah, a journalist; Lee Ann Bambach, an attorney and religious scholar; Ayesha Khan, educator; and Najia Humayun, a student at Georgia Tech and humanitarian.

The event is also designed to support young girls who may one day wear the hijab.

Ahmad, for instance, has a 12-year-old daughter. “We need to support them and let them know their rights.”

Guests will be able to ask questions at the end of the program and have an opportunity to wear a hijab.

Register at waamcga@gmail.com.

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