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.
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).
My newest article is published! It is about the city-wide boil water notice that Austin had last month and how it relates to water scarcity as caused by climate change. You can read it here.
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)
The latest article I wrote for the Liberator was about online friends. You can read it here!
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, 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
I’m not the sundress donning,
lip gloss wearing,
loose curls toting,
easy smiling girl.
I’ve never been the head in the clouds.
I’ve never been the skipping-through-daisies
I was never the carefree, full of life, character that I tried so hard to be.
Continue reading Love Song
I woke up this morning to an email notifying me that I have been chosen to receive the PMH Scholarship through Texas Exes. This scholarship will definitely ease some of the financial burden of my final year at UT. Thank you to the donors!
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?
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.
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
May Allah quicken the return of “Al-Mehdi” and aid us in gaining victory over the oppressors.
Our dream is daylight
our days are work.
We possess imagination,
and imagination is our hope.
And life fills us with promises,
of a light at the end of the tunnel.
It invites us to forget,
pain we lived.
We surrender to life, but no,
as long as hope is a journey,
so we will live.
Creeps through you as you dream
You prepare, plan.. but without realizing it you also
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
Why am I a feminist?
Dot, dot dot
An ellipses that contains all which I cannot
It burns on the way down
Like lava it overflows
Out of me, through my tongue
My fingers feverishly seek
My lips, dry and trembling
Like the coastline at high tide
Elusive, as much as I try to be
Calmness eludes me
All which you can never
Yet you try to understand
Until you can’t
Dot… dot dot
Silence fills the dots
As it overflows
And drowns it out