#95 // An excerpt from my spoken word piece "Immigrant Glory." When I performed this piece at the @statedept a month ago, I didn't shy away from relaying how important my family's immigrant story was to the core values of our nation. A number of government officials from different backgrounds approached me afterwards to share how deeply these words resonated with their own stories. "No matter who you are or where you're from, we all came to this land in some way, shape, or form," I said. "So we all deserve an equal chance to work for the American Dream."
#93 // Terrorism isn't uniquely owned by any one group of people. So when these extremist acts bleed into our headlines, we must hold sacred our collective humanity by honoring the pain of the individual. Let us stand with the victimized no matter their label and identify hate, bigotry, and racism as one side all on its own.
I was strollin through D.C. last Saturday when my fam and I ended up in Georgetown and saw Kenny Sway do his thing singin some dope R&B to a full crowd. We listened in and loved his set. Not knowin him, I went up to him after he was done and shared my mutual respect as an artist. “Do you freestyle?” he asked. Well, you know… #DCFreestyle
I was humbled and honored to be invited by the U.S State Department to share my family’s immigrant story. With humor, love, and storytelling I shared my spoken word piece as a Muslim, as an American, and as a Pakistani in hopes to humanize any people that desire to live in America and work for the American Dream.
#92 // When I exited the gym with my sister last night, I noticed an older woman in the corner of my eye some distance away walking towards me. Without a second thought, I held the door open. "Are you holding that…for me?" she asked with a puzzled look. "Of course," I replied with a smile, "It's meant for you." I didn't think much of it, but this small kindness meant the world to her. She couldn't contain her excitement when she shared her name and asked us ours. You could almost feel the light from her face renewing a familiar glow. In our conversation I learned she was originally from Taiwan, now retired with a love for traveling the world. When I told her our family is from Pakistan, she gushed over the idea of visiting. As we parted ways she repeatedly told me, "We need more people like you in this world." — Her words, in return, reminded me of a chapter in the Qur'an entitled "Al-Maun" (Small Kindnesses). I asked my mom about it last night and today during Friday prayer the imam recited it beautifully. The serendipity in it all moved me as a gift and lesson from the Divine. Don't let your kindness come at the cost of receiving it. It's too precious for that. Just be kind.
#91 // I woke up from a strange dream this morning. In it, I had a back and forth argument with the past. It embodied no particular form but represented people and events frozen in time. While in the heat of pursuing being right, I realized I wasn't doing what was right. That's when I decided to physically embrace the past with open arms out of love for the present. And that's what the past couldn't help but love even more. It always loves to be present.