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“I am Muslim, different, beautiful, Strong”

By 5:58:00 PM



By Lina abojaradeh (Palestine)
I grew up with a mother
who wore a piece of cloth
over her hair.
It was just another part of her,
like her gentle blue eyes
and morning prayers.
But as I became older
The childhood filter faded away
and I heard what people would say,
and wouldn’t say.
5-letter insults were not as bad as the sharp stares
that shredded the pride I had for my mother.
But the questions aimed at her
-rarely inquisitive
and mostly insensitive-
haunted me everywhere.
‘Do you ever wash your hair?’
‘Are you bald?’
“Do you have a bomb under there?
‘Do you sleep with that on?”
“CAN YOU HEAR OKAY UNDER THERE?”
I began to detest
that piece of cloth
that labeled us as ‘oppressed’
and screamed- never whispered-
that we were different, odd,
Wrong.
Now, I am proud
of this piece of cloth
that has enough heart and bravery
to defy society’s conception of beauty
to declare the existence of modesty
and to scream- not whisper-
I am Muslim,
different, beautiful,
Strong.

_________________________________

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