One time somebody told me my name doesn’t sound “American,”
but I guess that somebody doesn’t know that I’m as American as it gets.
My blood cannot be confined to the boundaries of just one country.
I am the child of a culture that is rugged, yet poetic,
unrelenting, yet yeilding.
My skin is suffused with scrolls
filled with enough stories to roll out over seas-
sagas from generations past:
epics of war and peace, loss and love, trial and triumph, defeat and honor.
Yet I am a daughter of the American dream and a dollar,
Familiar with the fact that with every hardship there is ease,
that sometimes people purposely put themselves forth to be refined
and willingly volunteer to be shattered, splintered
in hopes that they, too, can one day, someday, be purified of all vices.
I have been born into a tradition of sleepless nights and textbook print swimming behind eyelids,
of giving your all when you feel like giving up.
And despite everyone who blindly asserts that you can’t be Muslim and America, or American and Muslim,
let them know that I am a part of the revolutionary generation:
the kids who know that Allah SWT can raise prodigies from the most crumbling of foundations,
that He makes flowers grow in deserts and diamonds in dirt.