Hear Me Roar

I didn’t even realize that my ENTIRE life I have been fighting for equality. Growing up I had to constantly fight back towards my parents and let them know that anything they let my brothers do I was able to do too. Just because I’m a girl, doesn’t mean I can’t hang with the boys or go to college or talk to who I wanted or dress how I wanted. I was constantly arguing with my stepdad when he tried to tell me my fitted T-shirt’s were too tight when they weren’t. Just because they barely showed curves of my body. As a child I didn’t even realize what I was actually fighting seeing as I was the only girl in my family besides my mom. I grew up with two brothers and all boy cousins but I’ve had this mindset the whole time. I’ve always known and fought for equality within myself and now I’m doing it with an entire country.

I attended the Women’s March of Chicago on Saturday and have never felt so united within our population. This was the most empowering day of my entire life. After Trump was elected, everything started to separate us. Our race, our gender, our sexuality, our religion, our abilities… but not on this day. Every single type of human that can breathe was represented on this day. Over 300,000+ Chicagoans cheered and marched and continue to fight for equality across all spectrums of our human race.

I grew up in a Muslim household. And growing up I always felt that people wanted nothing to do with my religion because it was too extreme or because it simply wasn’t anything like the religion they have or it was too conservative. On this day, a beautiful woman recited a part of the Qur’an that talks about how we are all one. At first I was nervous that people weren’t going to accept and enjoy the Arabic recitation but my friends told me how beautiful it sounded and the cheers afterwards were incredible. And then followed by an amazing, powerful speech by Asha Binbek of CAIR Chicago that reminded us that we are all warriors with a purpose.

I was also completely blown away by the amazing accommodations put in place for ALL disabilities. There were ASL interpreters, a wide screen with closed captioning, a special sectioned off area for those people and their accompanying friends to sit near the stage, assisted hearing headsets, and even loaner wheelchairs to make it easier for those who have issues walking far distances to go from the stage area to the entrance of the event. NEVER in my life have I seen such an amazing, inclusive, and efficient ADA services at an event before. I usually never use the ADA services at events because I feel left out of the crowd and it doesn’t feel like I’m part of the same energy as the rest of the people there. I was able to bring all my friends there, I felt safe, and I felt like I was still apart of the same energy if not more…. I also felt super VIP which is dope. 😏 AND the best part was that the disability services provided was put in place by a team of PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY HAD DISABILITIES! This was the most accessible outdoor event in Chicago HISTORY. #AMAZING . I tell people day in and day out, “the best people to choose to talk about and create accessibility services are the people living the reality of it everyday.” And that was exactly this. A team of people with disabilities that made sure every single disability was accounted for. Truly incredible.

I would also like to add that the EmCee, Fawzia Mirza, was hands down my favorite part of the rally. I have a mini crush on this beautiful human. Her energy was contagious. Her words were powerful. And it was completely genuine. Talk about a pep rally…. I’m in awe.

I have never in my life been to any event that I truly felt and saw every type of human being included. Even incarcerated people. Im not going to lie, before this event I never thought about how incarcerated people do not have a voice behind bars, but they should. They have families and opinions too and should be heard. Every. One. Has. A. Voice. And it’s about time people start feeling comfortable to speak out. Women especially. We live our lives ignoring when guys cat-call or slap our asses but instead shouldn’t let it happen to begin with. And a lot of people just sit back and think “this is the way things are, but WHY?!

I’m the type of person that likes to stay neutral in most situations which is why I’ve never been a fan of politics or even talking about politics. I say “most” because I’ve always believed that everyone is entitled to their own opinion except when it’s downright wrong or someone isn’t being treated right. And that’s exactly what’s going on in our own country. It’s wrong. My eyes have been opened and it’s time to speak up. Change is difficult and a lot of people would rather keep things the way they are and stay quiet but if WE don’t change it someone else that shouldn’t have power will and it won’t be for the better. We all have power. We are the controller of our own tomorrow. Like Channyn Lynne Parker said during her speech on Saturday, “no one is coming to save you from Donald trump. The best way you can fight him is to get to the polls and vote. Your silences will not protect you. The only thing more frightening than speaking your truth is not speaking at all.” Society has become so acclimated to the injustices that is our reality that they don’t believe change is possible. But it is. And part of that reality is belittling women, and the dreamers, and people with disabilities, and the LGBT community, and Muslims, and incarcerated people. All of these people are HUMAN and have a say in what their own future looks like. It’s time for change. It’s time for equality. This is for the history books y’all. Knowing that there is a LARGE group of people out there that CARE and feel the same way you do with no judgement of who you are or where you came from, that is what America is about. #TimesUp #WomensMarchChicago


One Reply to “Hear Me Roar”

  1. Great post Sawsan. I’m very proud of you. Remember how we used to go to rallies when you were younger? Hahahaha I guess you carried on. Good job!!!vote vote vote

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