So I'll start with a story. My friend (let's call her E) and I were on the 'El' once and an old African American woman with two children (a boy and a girl) approached us on the platform.
We were a little uncertain about what she could possibly want to talk to us about. I assumed that she might be coming to ask why I was wearing my traditional hijab. But the woman surprised us. She came and asked what we studied. E and I looked at each other, wondering how she knew we were college students. We shared our studies with her. She expressed interest and then told us she was really proud of us and hoped her grandchildren (the two with her) would be as successful as us. (Mind you, I don't consider myself particularly successful when I see the amazing things my peers are doing).
On the train, the two children and their grandmother sat across from us, and as soon as one of the passengers beside us stood up, the little girl ran to sit beside us. Her grandmother laughed. We had a pleasant conversation with the girl about books, and then they arrived at their stop and had to leave the train.I was a little sad afterward. It was nice to make some new friends, but it would be hard to ever find them again. This encounter was part of what inspired this project - the idea that a perfect stranger could become a new friend. And I'll leave you with that.