Even in a hectic city like New York, where lots of folks have short tempers and sharp elbows, there remain tiny moments of human interaction that makes one’s heart swell…I had one of those experiences yesterday. I was gathered by the Simply Eloped team to marry a lovely British couple in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is quickly becoming a favorite elopement spot, due to its sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, the hip streets and shops of DUMBO, and of course the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.
The couple arrived, with their children in tow; all looked stylish and joy-filled. We’ve had an unusually rainy spring in New York and were carefully watching the forecasts for the afternoon’s weather. We started early to try to avoid drizzle, but it came anyway. (English folks take such conditions in stride!) For those familiar with the Brooklyn Bridge Park, we were on the landing blow Jane’s Carousel, along the East River. There is a steep staircase along the landing which offers seating for those who want to take a rest or enjoy the view. As the sprinkles started, I noticed we were all but alone in what is usually a bustling part of the park. Yet, I saw two holdouts who were taking in “our” wedding. They were two young women—girls, in my mind—who had their phones out taking videos or photos of the ceremony. I noticed two things: their broad smiles and their hijabs, sacred Muslim head covers. I smiled to them and waved to the girls, as the couple took notice of their special guests.
Now almost two decades out from the 9/11 attacks in America and after more than 15 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Muslims still face discrimination and prejudices, large and small. Muslim women, choosing religious head covers and garments are especially likely to suffer from problematic social interactions, according to many organizations including the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. Here were two girls, expressing their faith in their fashion…and smiling brightly about something many young women dream of—romance, marriage, and family. The British couple was gracious in every possible way, including their embrace of two special guests at the ceremony. I thank our guests for being there.
Love is love is love is love.