In short shorts and a bow tie, a classic British-style schoolboy outfit popular in his old country, 7-year-old Abdel Nader walked into the lion’s den of Chicago’s Apollo Elementary School.
“Everybody is looking at me like, ‘Yo, what are you doing?’,” Nader recalled.
The newly-arrived Egyptian immigrant didn’t know any better, and he wouldn’t for a while. How can you understand why you’re being teased when you don’t even know the language?
“They were gettin’ me,” Nader chuckled. “Those kids get after it if they get the chance.”
Nearly two decades ago, in a sea of late ‘90s jeans and t-shirts, flannels and hoodies, someone who looked different and talked different strode into school wearing something very, very different.