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St. Cloud teacher and author writes book for children wearing hijabs

Hudda Ibrahim said when she didn't see any books with characters wearing hijabs, she wanted to write her own.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Call Hudda Ibrahim overly organized.

She said she likes to lay out her outfit for the next day every night.

"I love to accessorize my hijab and look good," Ibrahim said. "It really makes my day when I have a pretty hijab on and I look chic, modest and sophisticated."

Wednesday was no exception. Ibrahim was wearing a patterned hijab with splashes of black, brown and white. Her outfit of a black shirt under a brown blazer was a perfect match. 

Ibrahim said she was thrilled to realize that her niece Fatima was also learning about the joys of wearing a hijab too. So she thought she would find a book for her 7-year-old niece.

"It was so difficult to find books that Fatima could relate to so I knew it was an area where I needed to study more," she explained. After much research, Ibrahim said she decided to write the book she thought her niece might appreciate.

"What Color is My Hijab?" features little Tima, (Fatima likes to be called Tima) and in the book, Tima ponders what color hijab she should wear for the day.

"I know someone in a white hijab, she's an engineer. She is very smart. When I want to solve problems, I will wear a white hijab," Ibrahim read from her copy. 

"I want to help kids do that, celebrate their identities and who they are and not be afraid of wearing a headscarf," Ibrahim said. "Just because my head is covered, doesn't mean my brain is covered."

Along with the theme of empowering women, Ibrahim said she's also working to normalize the hijab because the head scarf is a part of her and a part of Tima too.

"It is a choice that we made or I made to cover my hair and it is really liberating," she said. "I want people to respect me as a Muslim woman, I want to be identified as a Muslim woman."

Despite the book featuring cute characters and fun colors, Ibrahim said the book isn't just for children.

"It's a teaching tool, I want teachers to really use these books in their classrooms and to educate their students about the culture and something about the faith," she said. "It's not talking about Islam or anything like that. It's just about a little girl who wants to wear her hijab. Who gets inspiration from her mother, her aunts, her neighbors. I want to educate both kids and adults about the importance of diversity and embracing the hijab."

Ibrahim is currently taking pre-orders for her book on Kickstarter. She said she is planning on publishing the book around March of 2020.

RELATED: St. Cloud model is first to wear hijab and burkini on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit

RELATED: Verify: Phones in hijabs will remain legal

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