That firey love and energy you never knew you needed in your life!

My passion for activism and the justice system has grown exponentially in the last three years. Before coming to New York University many of my dreams were just that, a dream.

My focus is on mainstream media and its generally prejudiced portrayal of minority groups such as African-Americans, women, and Muslims. As someone who identifies with all of these, I believed my life would come with obstacles that would be difficult. But what I did not believe it was going to be was impossible. My goal is to deconstruct stereotypes of Muslims through interfaith work with Christians and Jews. During my senior year of my high school I proposed my capstone project and with the help of many I was able to create a healthy interfaith dialogue around the subject of refugees and create a bill in the state of Texas. It continued to be more than just a talk but a project that helped break the stereotypes many Texans had towards refugees and muslims.

Later in my early college years I interned at numerous Public Policy running NGOs including: MPAC, Arab American Association, ACCESS, and CAIR. During my move to New York I created an interfaith program by bringing in Faith leaders from all 3 abrahamic faiths that discussed on many different topics that got many Americans realizing we are all the same. Last year I had the privilege to attend my first ever Guild of America banquet and spoke about the importance of learning from each other and creating safer spaces for vulnerable communities. My goal has grown bigger than I can imagine as I am currently working on a project about Muslim women in the world. My senior thesis examines strategies to combat gender-based violence in refugee communities. I have had the privilege to serve my time at many of these camps around the world in training in self defense, women empowerment and healing spaces.

I aspire to become an actress to portray Muslim women in a more positive light, contrary to stereotypes and pre-conceived notions. I also aims to establish a mobile platform to report ethically on issues affecting marginalized individuals and communities. I believe It is important for folks to raise their voices and amplify others.

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7 fun facts you didn’t know about me:
1 I’m deathly afraid of ketchup...
2. Me and my sister are 10 years apart
3. I used to be obsessed with Twilight (hence my Snapchat, twitter username)
4. I played soccer and gymnastic for awhile and the plan was to go to the olympics with one of them before my injury.
5. When I went overseas as a kid I forgot English and I was put into ESL for 4 years
6. My family attempted to relocate in North Carolina we lasted 3 months.
7. I went to 4 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 2 Highschools, and 2 universities

Iconic and the best food in New York City

Black tap (crazy milkshake)
Martha’s country bakery
Spots dessert
Donut pub
Tompkins square bagels
Sweet chicks
Koronet pizza (big ass slices)
Gotham pizza
Pasticceria Rocco
Vanessa dumplings
Clinton street baking company
Amarino (gelato)
Pop bar
Sarabeth (brunch)
Truva (Turkish)
LBs pizza (best spumoni and Sicilian pizza)
Roccoas (Turkish with a nice view)
Boqueria (Spanish)
Lahore deli (great chai)
Magnolia bakery (banana pudding)
Ice n vice (crazy flavor ice cream)
Milk bar (just straight up crack😍)
Boa house (late night food)
Veselka (24 hour Ukrainian diner)
Artichoke pizza
Anything on st mark street
Tall grass (halal burgers😍)
Waffles and dinges
Cafeteria (24 hour restaurant: this place is an experience not just food so go at late night for a good laugh)
Big gay ice cream
Chai spot (also an experience)
Argon tea
World’s best cookie dough
Brunch boys
Quality italian NYC
Stick w me sweets
Llama inn
The smith
Yemen cafe
Chick’n cone
Modern sanctuary
Scott’s pizza
Raclette nyc
The Ainsworth (midnight brunch)
Juliann’s pizza (DUMBO)
Al-Sham sweets - best knafeh in NY!!
Laila Dubai (Shisha and Arabic food)
Mahmood halal cart in Steinway (better than halal guys)
The butchers daughter
Russ and daughter
Bunna (Ethiopian food)
Sea (Thai food)
Soul food
Umami burger
Sunday in Brooklyn
Streets taco (kips bay)
Mighty Quinn (bbq)
Ample hill creamery ( Ice cream, go to the one in Chelsea)
Il Laboratorio Del Gelato
The smith (Mac and chess)
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong Korean BBQ
Morgenstern’s ice cream
Smorgasburg is a must if you’re in nyc during the summer or fall

Fancy eats:
Stanton social
Beauty and Essex
Le coucou
Lincoln square steak or Peter Luger
Calm bar

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A letter to my future daughter

Don’t lose yourself, little black girl
As you walk through the halls of your elementary school,
As you swing on the swings of the playground,
Even as you skin your knees during recess mastering double dutch and hopscotch,
Be bold.
Don’t lose yourself, little black girl.
White walls, white faces, white noise.
It’s easy to get lost in it all.
But you are beautiful.
Your black is beautiful.
The wind sings through your natural, nappy hair
Making music only God himself can delight in.
Your smile speaks life to the lifeless and love to the unloved.
Your full, plump lips are reminiscent
Of your eldest ancestors
You are royalty, my dove.
You blossom in the dead of winter
As if seasons are just formalities.
You flicker and shine
As if it was your soul purpose for existence.
You are sunshine
As if light is intertwined in your very DNA.
Don’t lose yourself, little black girl.
As you walk through the halls of your high school,
As you look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I beautiful?”
Even as you take your standardized tests for college admission,
Be phenomenal.
Because you are anything but standard.
Your soft, mocha skin dares to be kissed by the sun
As the sparrows serenade your praises because
You are beautiful and you are life and you are black.
And as far as I am concerned those are synonymous.
So don’t lose yourself, little black girl
As you walk through your college campus,
As you watch music videos, and television, and listen to the radio
As you join organizations and meet boys and go to parties,
Be fearless.
Your glorious essence cannot be captured
By Instagram likes or retweets.
In fact, you find no value in Instagram, asking yourself,
“Why filter what is already flawless?”
Not because the Queen of Pop says so,
But because the King of Kings and Lord of Lords decreed so.
You are an old soul.
Your cheekbones sit high like the ancient Egyptian Goddesses
Your laughter harmonizes with the pulses of the universe
And in that moment you are more than any adjective can ever describe.
You are not “bad”.
You are not “fine”.
You are not “hot”.
You are radiance, You are brilliance, You are divinity.
Because your blackness was knit together by God himself.
Your kinky roots were wound together by the Creator of universe.
And your full, dark chocolate eyes and lips were sculpted and crafted by the Master Craftsman.
God could not dream a sweeter dream than you.
So don’t let them tell you otherwise.
They will try to make you ashamed, little black girl.
They will try to make your blackness a burden,
But don’t pay them any mind because
Your heartbeat is the melody of the mockingbird.
Your roots to the Motherland make you the daughter of Kings, my princess.
And your mind is sharp like the thorns of a rosebush at dusk.
You are a rose, my love.
Wilt for no one, little black girl.
Love furiously, live ferociously, and laugh infectiously.
Because you are black and you are mine and you are life.
So just promise me you won’t lose yourself, little black girl.

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I love you for the sake of Allah

I never understood or liked when people said “I love you for the sake of Allah,” nothing about it seemed sincere or real. I was constantly being put in environments where I was known by others before I even knew myself. I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel good. To be liked and admired by people all over for just being me felt really good. It was only naturally for me develop an extroverted and bubbly personality. Both a curse and blessing. Twenty one years of living on a one lane high, fast paced life I finally started reaching speed limit. And a thought had occured to me, I am  where I am now because of the support and love from these people I called my friends, right? But that’s where I was wrong.
Foremost I am where I am in life because of Allah allmighty. All of my success and future success in life had been due to Allah’s will. Behind every slammed door was another door  opened. Second although my friends seem to be disguised as my number one supporters during my journey they only seem to make a grand appearance during the spotlight. Strange? No. Everyone has an agenda and unless it’s in their best interest so say goodbye to Sarah because honey boo boo she can careless about your rare autoimmune disease or the fact that you are emotionally tired…and I wish someone had told a younger version of me this because oh boy does it hurt to lose a friend—wait let rephrase that to lose friends—a community. No heartbreak could have prepared me for this, to think someone finally understands me to then realize no one REALLY understands YOU. Someone can say, “yeah I totally get you sis,” but do you really get me sis. My heart hurts and my emotions are filled with anger but I can’t hate anyone, there’s no one to blame not even myself. Don’t get me wrong I could have done more to kept the friendships, maybe shoot a couple more texts but it hurts when you know you went above and beyond and most importantly you did all you can. But those same people aren’t willing to go the extra mile for you. It’s funny. I created my whole life on this idea of friends. My happiness, success, passion, and satisfaction depended on my friends and there was a moment where I forgot about my own well being, I forgot to ask myself, ask for my permission. Are you willing to fight for her even if it leaves you crippled on the battlefield or worse to break families up? The years I invested in my friends and the months of networking and traveling had only left me alone. Why is it that even though I was constantly surrounded by people I felt so lonely. The amount of friends on Facebook and Instagram could not heal this broken heart. The constant comments of “you’re living the life,” or “so lucky,” no amount of likes could create a true friend—a real friend. Someone who I could count on both my good and bad days. Someone who would not only greet me at the masjid in a not so promising, high pitched voice. Someone who will not be scared when I say I am not okay. Because it’s not always, “ I am doing good.” Someone wants to see real emotions with real reactions.
Save your, “we need to hangout habibti,” for someone else cause I don’t have time to create anymore fake friendship and act like we have 100 things in common when you can barely remember my name. No more fake smiles. No more fake smiles. No more fake smiles. I get it now. It took some 20 something years to understand “I love you for the sake of Allah,” is actually one of the most beautiful thing someone can say to another. There’s a hadith “A best friend is the one who reminds you of Allah, and who reminds Allah of you.” Although my luck in friends haven’t been the strongest I hope Allah blesses us all with someone who we can lean on.

“I am American”

I asked myself today what makes someone look “American.” And I realized something that most have forgotten and that is we all come from a long lines of immigrants. Yes I’m an immigrant from a long line of immigrants. My ancestors constantly moved from the dusty deserts of Arabia to the mountain range of Addis. My family’s journey to America was just another step. There are too much connections of loyalty, culture and mixes of languages and colors depend on the hue of one land. So I will forever be an immigrants if that means that I’m a traveler. And just like my ancestors I will fuse my blood with migration and past down this legacy to my children, I will tell them move, go forward, because if you stay in one place for too long your feet will grow thick roots and you won’t be able to move no longer. So I say start on your boots and move, don’t let documents and customized airports define you, don’t be so partial to one color cause your own blood is a mix of so many different flavors and if you do so you’ll be betraying some part of yourself. Make friends with the stars and set foot to places you are told foreign to. And remind them there was a time when there were no borders and in forms when they ask your race always circle humanity.

Lost in Turkey

Dusty streets as the sun hits half baked road. The aroma of the roasted nuts fill the streets as I reach my destination. My thoughts are restless from the beautiful city with beautiful smiles that have forever imprinted my thoughts. Oh turkey you have cursed me. I had thought there is no way I could love anymore but I have fallin madly in love with you once again.


A little piece of home

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