by Marwa Elhassa

Many people question the advantages and disadvantages of private

schools over public schools. In my own life, having attended both types 

of schools, I have personally observed the discrepancy between public and

private education.

That gap which one misses out in public school, especially in the 

Middle and High school years, makes a huge impact on students, whereas an 

Islamic private school fills this gap.

Students my age automatically assume that it is an awful thing to be in

private school. "It's like prison," they say, "and everyone is isolated

from the rest of the world."

In my opinion, this is a wrong conception. Students my age in public

schools tend to adapt to kids their age, especially because of peer

pressure. I don't blame them. They want to fit in, but as Muslims fitting

in with the crowd means we will have to compromise our unique culture 

and way of life or at least how our attitudes are presented.

Muslim adolescents experience tough times living in American society and

possess, like all other adolescents, a desire to becoming like those around them.

I have been attending Razi Islamic School in Queens, NY for the past 5

years and previously attended public school. I loved public school because

everyone was free, but looking back now, I realize that, at least

partially, I wasn't free because I wanted to become like the students

surrounding me and by doing that it would initially lead me to violate the

Islamic regulations. In addition, my parents did not want to take the

chance for me to remain in public school and lose my Islamic identity,

therefore they sent me to Razi School.

I can relate to everyone at this school, and as a young Muslim girl, I

don't have to hesitate before speaking up about Islam. Razi School is a

very clean social environment and I urge all Muslim youths reading this to

not only appreciate that you are Muslims but, most importantly, do not

forget who you are and how you should behave as a Muslim. If you get the

opportunity to attend a private Islamic school, I highly recommend that

you avail yourself of this opportunity.


Marwa Elhassa is in the 11the grade and attends Razi Islamic School in

Queens, NY. She can be reached at


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