Sneak Peak of the Book I’m writing!

“Take the exit ramp onto Randall road.”

She turned her steering wheel and slowed down to exit the highway. Her knuckles ached and her fingertips were numb. On her right ring finger was an indent where previously a ring snugly sat, just a little bit too tight. She wondered if her mother would notice the indentation, and if she did, would she say something? Somehow mothers must just notice the tiniest things, she thought. The music she played while driving became a distant hum as her ears filled with sentences she anticipated to hear this afternoon. Once she got off the highway, her mind wandered as her hands and her feet led her vehicle to Copper Springs lane. Before she knew it, she was parking her car in front of her parents house, and her heart was beating so hard in her chest that she felt the veins in her neck throb as she twisted her head to look behind her while doing her best to parallel park her car straight next to the curb.  Continue reading Sneak Peak of the Book I’m writing!

Once Upon A Week

August 2016. First semester at UT. Saw an ad on campus for something called “Once Upon a Week”, a theater project where you write, rehearse, and perform a play within one week with a group of strangers. I decided, why the hell not… and ended up having a helluva good time. I couldn’t find the shaky, grainy footage I took of the performance, but the transcript is below.

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National and International Oil Companies and Domestic Welfare (My Capstone Senior Thesis Paper)

I worked on this research paper during my final semester at UT. It is in the field of international political economy, and I put my heart and soul into it. I’m extremely proud of myself that I was able to produce something this in-depth and well put. When I presented my paper to my class, I was voted in 1st place. Should you be interested in reading it, I have attached it below. Be warned, it is fairly lengthy (24 pages).

National and International Oil Companies and Domestic Welfare

If You Witness Wrongdoing

من رأى منكم منكراً فليغيره بيده، فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه، فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه، وذلك أضعف الإيمان

“If one of you witnesses wrongdoing, change it with your hand, if you are unable then with your tongue, if you are unable then with your heart, and that is the weakest of faith.” Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

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To Drown

On a long car ride home, one of my sisters fell asleep and I took a picture of her. The look of calm on her face mesmerized me and I decided to paint it. I didn’t know where I was going with it or what I was trying to say. Then my life took some unexpected turns and I started to feel like I was drowning… in fears, sadness, possibility. Yet I was somehow still composed, refusing to be unsettled. I hope looking at this piece in the future reminds me of all that I’ve endured, and the grace within me to face anything that might come my way.

Don’t Hold On

Don’t hold on, love
And don’t lament
A lover must always be a friend

Don’t hold on, darling
Can’t fight the tide of change
So swim along
Revel in the warmth of the sun
It won’t ever feel the same again

Don’t hold on
Sooner or later
All that is on it will perish
Don’t stifle what we created
Let it live on, perfectly remembered

Don’t hold on, dear friend
Don’t cling to me, or anything
You will only grow weary
Beauty doesn’t last forever

An Exercise in Reconciling Free Speech with Social Justice

         There was a point at which I realized what had happened. It was sometime after being asked leading questions to fit a neat narrative on conservative talk radio, essentially painting me as an unprincipled bridge. It was sometime before the end of Eugene Volken’s lecture about Free Speech on Campus. There was a point at which I realized the dilemma I could only see reflected in the enigma of a right wing campaign for more civil rights. At that point I asked myself: does free speech have to be the cost for social justice?

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Painted

Warm was the breeze, when they, towards me, dive
-ed a flock of Painted Buntings, all at once.
I watched, with taken breath, when they arrive
-ed back into the sky, a splendid performance.

How wonderful is their right to fly,
To leave, to seek, to experience, to find.
To no one they answer, on no one rely,
Nor by walls or ceilings are they confined.

Perhaps God gave us no wings, no right to fly,
Because we would leave each other, and find
The wrong laws of humanity to defy,
And disregard those of our own kind, behind.

And so the Painted Buntings soar ahead,
And I, my life, with sober people dread.

Religious Appropriation

A letter we send, we as the sons of the Sadr movement to each dirty
Malikian, Hakeemian and Jafarian…

With the help of Allah, and after monitoring and mapping for months, all
emails of those who are helping the government of the criminal Al-Maliki have been hacked
by the electronic monitoring department of the Sadr movement, the national
movement that is a true Iraqi movement which rejects the American invasion. And thank
Allah, this is one of them.

All of you, the tails of the Invasion will die burning along with your
families.

May Allah quicken the return of “Al-Mehdi” and aid us in gaining victory over the oppressors.

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Fear

Fear
Creeps through you as you dream
You prepare, plan.. but without realizing it you also
Fear
The burden will weigh your shoulders down
Your legs won’t carry you to the end
Will you collapse?
Will your aspirations come down and crush you
As if to say…
You knew you would fail all along.
In between the borders of your thoughts, there crept
Fear