"I can't help missing my old school....I loved the intimacy of it, that you knew everybody's name and history. That you knew the teachers felt it was more than a job. That you could feel they lived and breathed the idea of making the school as big as their dreams. That it didn't matter that you didn't have gyms and courtyards and pools and horseback riding and tennis courts. All that mattered was how hard you studied or slacked off, and your friendships. And it was no big deal if you didn't have a clue who you were because nobody was asking for an explanation anyway." p34
" 'I'm sixty-seven year old. And, dear, in my sixty-seven years I've never let politics tell me how to treat people.'
We sit in silence and she soon begins gathering her things to get ready for her stop. I let her out and as she steps off the bus she looks back at me and smiles. I wave good-bye.
Sometimes it's easy to lose faith in people. And sometimes one act of kindness is all it takes to give you hope again." p161
"She bursts into laughter. She doesn't stop; her chest heaves up and down and she leans over, wiping her eyes and shaking as her lungs gasp for air. I see her and I crack up, and we're sitting on the porch, an old woman with her tasseled shawl, me with my hijab, and we're finding out that we're connected enough to affect each other. And it makes us laugh harder to realized we'd ever doubted it." p 272
"All this time I've been walking around thinking I've become pious because I've made the difficult decision to wear the hijab. I've been assuming that now that I'm wearing it full-time, I've earned all my brownie points. But what's the good of being true to your religion on the outside, if you don't change what's on the inside, where it really counts? I've been kidding myself. Putting on the hijab isn't the end of the journey. It's just the beginning of it." p333
"But that's what Leila's always been about. Faith. Faith that she'll do something in her life. Faith in people. Faith in God. Faith that she knows who she is and what she wants and what her rights are. Things you take for granted and don't think about." p347