It was the morning after the Muslim celebration of the end of Ramadan — Eid-al-Fitr. I rushed into my classroom waving my tiny palms at my friends. Some of them stared with interest and others recoiled. “Ewwww, Amber drew all over her hand with marker.”
The next day I was dragging my feet to school, avoiding eye contact with friends on the way to my desk, still sensitive and weary from the day before. Unexpectedly, my teacher ushered me to the front of the classroom and had me sit in a chair. She told me she had a special role for me in today’s class. She proceeded with a smile and called the rest of my classmates around my chair. She pulled out a tube of henna and asked me to draw a design on her hand. She asked the other girls in class to come up and take turns having henna painted onto their hands. Pretty soon, girls started pushing past one another to have our teacher draw a butterfly or puppy on their own palms. We all ended the day smiling, as my friends asked me what designs we would paint on our palms next Eid.
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