In 2002, our 4-year-old, 50-student school was homeless. We had been renting rooms in an office building in Herndon, Virginia, and our lease was up. I had started the school with my teacher friend and fellow parent Pervin Divleli to be a place where we could be creative and innovative in our teaching while building an environment in which our students could seamlessly be both American and Muslim.
Waiting lists were long, and we were adding a grade a year with what we called an “organic” expansion plan. With renovations planned in the building, however, our preschool-through-first-grade classes had to find a new home. So just months after Sept. 11, 2001, we began an intensive search for the perfect place for our fledgling school.