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
The picture above is the view from the highest floor of the gymnasium of Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane.
I’m finally in Morocco!
I arrived on August 23rd, and it’s been a very exciting several days. I’ve met countless other fellow international students and went shopping at the local “marché.” A couple friends and I also explored the local park, which also had some individual vendors with a variety of jewelry, decor, and home goods.
I’m anticipating many more adventures to come!
Do you see?
Into that window
Onto which still crawls remnants of last night’s storm
Racing down towards the ground
Sunlight peeks in
Landing on four sleepy eyelids
A fire crackling nearby
Warming two bodies intertwined in a blissful knot
Do you feel me?
After you’ve ceased to ache me, and began to heal me
When I had a stone hard core, you crumbled me
And filled the void
My love for you now permeates my every pore
Invades my innards
Claims every breath of my being
Do you see us?
My dry lips begging to be touched
By the tips of your fingers
To be wetted by the liqueur of your kiss
Our two lungs, breathing each other’s air
Do you hear our two hearts, beating slowly
As we look out to a world that we’ve conquered
I was mentioned in a New Yorker article titled “America’s Future is Texas.” Happy to hear that, and I agree! You can read the wonderful article here.
I’m almost certain it was the 2011 visit, when I was 14. My two sisters, mother and I went to visit my maternal grandmother and our hometown Baghdad for the second time since our settlement in America. We were at Uncle Fahad’s house, the one adjacent to my grandmother’s (they shared a wall). All the adults were in the guest room drinking the late afternoon tea with biscuits and catching up. My budding introversion compelled me to get away from the noise for a little bit, so I was watching television in the living room. For about an hour, I was staring absentmindedly at the 20 inch screen, the oddity of my two passport identity consuming my thoughts.
I was brought back by a phrase I heard coming from the TV; “I didn’t have a morsel of bread to feed my kids.”
Continue reading On Feminine Terrorism
At first I didn’t notice them or think too much
They’re just mama and baba
He’s just the one that comes home in the evening
She’s the one who makes me food and cleans me and tells me not to play in the mud.
They’re mama and baba
I’ve always had a love for butterflies. It probably stems from my deep seated need for freedom – to feel that I can soar, sink, and roam without being weighed down. This photo was taken by a friend of mine and I couldn’t help but share it.
I was 15 and just couldn’t ignore how beautiful that single solitary flower looked sprouting up in between the stone steps. I crouched down and snapped this picture with my phone camera that afternoon right when I got home from school. The picture ended up catapulting me into an obsession I developed with photography and I spent a year and a half with my cheap Nikon around my neck 24/7. I sadly don’t take that many “inspired” pictures anymore but that will hopefully change soon when I leave the country.
Why do we chase the light?
Trust only our sight, yet still
We watch the advance of night
And revel in our sweet dark delight
Deeds Not Words is an Austin non-profit started by Wendy Davis. Andrea, an intern there, interviewed me for a blog post in honor of World Refugee Day. You can read the article here!
You might have heard of the most famous Sufi mystic: Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet (side note: in my opinion translating his poetry is nothing short of a crime). Sufism is technically a tiny sect of Islam. Jalalul-din Al-Rumi and many other Sufi mystics have gifted us everyday Muslims and the rest of the world an invaluable store of marvelous love poems. This representation is my humble token of adoration for the beautiful teachings of Sufism… a note of gratitude for opening my eyes to the true, beautiful image of God.
I’m in print! The Liberator magazine’s Spring 2017 issue was released earlier this month, with “Power” as the theme. It includes an article I wrote inspired by attending Trevor Noah’s latest stand-up comedy tour (Noah is The Daily Show’s latest host – replacing Jon Stewart). The full print issue can be viewed here in PDF format. “Continue Reading” to view my full article!
I never thought I’d one day know
the language that’s whispered under the sun
between the brightest buds, and above
the whitest clouds, which mentions only one
The one that came and invaded me
the one that seized every last defense I had
the one that set my untried heart free
imprisoned my mind within his jail, ironclad
Never did I anticipate how
I’d come to memorize the whispers of the sun
when speaking to me as she does now
her gentle burns remind me I have truly won
For though I’m aching within these walls
my hero with keys roams the outside halls
I thought I couldn’t get more excited. Alas, I was wrong. Yesterday I received an email stating that I was selected to receive UT’s College of Liberal Arts Study Abroad Exchange Scholarship! It won’t take care of every dollar I need for the program, but it will certainly help a lot. I will be posting highlights of my experience in Morocco beginning in August, accompanied by shots taken with my Nikon. Stay tuned!
You might be able to refrain from clicking on that headline. You might be able to scroll past that gruesome footage. But if you were at the Texas State Capitol today, you couldn’t walk away. You couldn’t turn your back. You had to see and hear the consequences of our government’s inaction towards the refugee crisis in Syria.
Myself and 20 other brave and talented individuals performed a reality that too few of our fellow countrymen recognize.
This phrase from the Quran changed my life. Not only has it filled me with humility every day of the past 3 years, it also continues to remind me how small and insignificant my problems are in the grand scheme of things. This phrase has been the source of my happiness and the fuel that drives every thing I do, because I know that if I want to do anything of significance, it can’t come from a place of selfishness, competition or for material gain. Any success I acquire or accomplishments I achieve, any material wealth I accumulate will perish along with me, so I’ve decided to live this short life for things that won’t.
I wish I lived in Philadelphia, so that I could have the opportunity to intern at FIRE, a non-profit organization that works to protect first amendment rights in universities across the country.
I was interviewed by Alex Morey for their website and it was a great honor to meet her.
On Saturday January 21st, on Trump’s first day in office as the President of the United States, I delivered a speech to the largest crowd I have ever spoken to.
I will miss having a president I love and admire. Yes, my heart is heavy but my resolve is hardening. The coming years might challenge the strength of our shared values of freedom and democracy but they should also prove our resilience as Americans, as advocates of the universal rights of human beings to live and pursue happiness. The challenges we face should not to be feared, but anticipated and prepared for. If it doesn’t scare us, it won’t strengthen us.
Before anything else, if you clicked on this article because you have no clue what a Hijab is, congratulations, you’re a (presumably) human adult with an intact curiosity. If you clicked on this article because you already know what it is, or you are a person who wears the Hijab then I’m about to drop some truth bombs you’ve all been waiting to hear. Continue reading 6 Things You Learn as a Hijabi in America
It was like I never left.
I walked into one of the sets of double doors at “the point,” the main entrance of Stevenson High School, my Alma mater.
The president of UT’s Undergraduate Law Review assembled this beautiful project exploring the impact of the 2016 election cycle on students of various religious backgrounds and their relationship with their faith. I was honored to take part in Brigit’s project and hope that the coming years will prove that this country will only grow stronger and more resilient in the face of adversity.
I was honored when Mike Satcher interviewed me for The November 9 Project website. He flattered me endlessly and planted the idea of running for public office in my head. Maybe someday.
Here is the article.
“Love Trumps Hate” was the slogan the protest organizers chose for their Facebook event, and the assertion painted on multiple signs that night. However, as with the march the day after the election, a select few in the crowd weren’t on board. Continue reading Sunday, November 13th 2016