The sun was peeking through the clouds on Saturday, April 25 at Victor Steinbreuck Park in downtown Seattle, where a crowd gathered to celebrate the first ever Islamophobia Awareness Day.
The event was created by a group of Muslim girls from Rainier Beach High School.
They were motivated by what they see as misconceptions surrounding their religion and especially the way Muslims are portrayed in the media. That’s why they opened up a safe space to talk about Islam, and answer questions from the public.
Nafiso Egal, a freshman at the University of Washington, learned about the event through Facebook and decided to show up to support her Muslim sisters.
"The people that you see on the news that are extreme -- that's not really a part of Islam," Egal said. "Islam teaches you to be a good person. Islam is peaceful."
At the event, youth set up stations with information about Islam along with cupcakes and savory sambusa pastries. At 1:30, a dozen girls stood in straight lines for Salat al Dhur, the midday prayer.
At the hijab station, Hannah Corpuz stopped to learn how to put the Muslim head scarf on. "It's kind of interesting because I never really knew how the process worked, or if you have to do your hair in a certain way," she said. "It's actually kind of really comfortable!"
Later in the day, the youth organizers posted on Instagram saying the event was a success. They’re speaking with mosques in Australia, London, Spain and Holland in hopes of making this a global event next year.