powered by your voice
Nov 21
Kiran's picture

Hijab 101

She be rockin it, she be rockin it(2x), she be rockin’ that hijab

K: But you think she’s oppressed

H: It’s a little short of the feminist movement

K: You think she’s mistreated

Aren't you hot in that?

Do you shower with that on?

What’s underneath that thing?

K: Why are you wearing that? You were prettier before

H: Can I touch your hair?

*whisper* Did your dad make you wear it?
Welcome to Hijab 101

Lesson #1: Basic pronunciation

It’s hi-jab not heeejob

H: Learn to work your tongue around it

K: Twist and bend until you get can get the perfect sounds

H: This will be your first test
Lesson #2: Common misconceptions

H: People don’t seem to realize...

It’s my choice!

No! My parents aren't forcing me to wear it

K: I chose to put it on

H: This hijab has always been a part of me

K: Let me be clear

H: I do it for the Creator, not His creation

K: This hijab is my form of liberation!

So you haters, go get yourself an education!
Lesson #3: Defining the hijab

K: Hijab. Noun. Meaning barrier and partition in Arabic.
Jun 09
Kiran's picture

Body Standards

Body Standards

By: Kiran Waqar

You saw my body way before you saw who I am
But that’s okay
I did the same to you
You took it all in
The outfit - meh
The face - blah
The body - ugh

I saw yours
Thin waste
Luscious hair and breasts
Beautiful baby blues
You are the standard

How can I ever compete?
Your clothes are great and so is your skin.
I prophesize your personality will match without even a single word.
I can see your pearly whites and sigh.
I know mine can never be so shiny.
I bet you get all the boys you want.
Bet they chase after you like a hungry dog.
Bet you have life easy.
With your long eyelashes you wouldn’t have to work a day in your life.

Only problem is you’re not real
You’re a product of makeup artists, stylists, designers and editors
Editors who brushed away 15 pounds
Editors who enchanced your face
You are beautiful but you are not real
I am real but I am not beautiful
I know that these remarks are only skin deep
I know that there is more to me than my acne scars and my insecurities
They’re just hard to find sometimes
Through all the self hate there is a cheerleader within us all
Who sees our flaws but tells us to stand tall
She is cheering us on right now
Jun 09
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By: Balkisa Abdikadir, Lena Ginawi, Hawa Adam, and Kiran Waqar

L: I can’t talk about black liv…
B/H: Shhhhhh
K: Don’t talk about it
There is an elephant in the room
K: I can’t talk about gay righ...
B: Shhhhh don’t talk about it
There is an elephant in the room
K: I am in my room
H: Watching video
L: After video
B: After video
H: Black girl talks about black power
L: White girl talks about feminism
K: Muslim girl recites the Quran
B: I want to hear a white person speak up against racism
L: I want to see a man stand up against rape
K: I want to witness a Jew preach against islamophobia
B: Does this even happen?
H: Why isn’t this happening?
There is an elephant in the room
H: These problems are too big for one group to handle
L: One person
B: One identity to handle
H: We need you
L: And you need us
B: Slavery was not ended by black people alone
K: It took an arson of colors
H: These conflicts transcend me
B: me
L: me
K: me
L: Our voices need to join together
B: Loud and in unision
K/L: We’re not black but we support black lives matter.
K: Let’s meet at 6:30 tomorrow.
Jun 09
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Welcome, Welcome, Welcome

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome

By: Kiran Waqar, Hawa Adam, Balkisa Abdikadir, and Lena Ginawi

Welcome, Welcome X 3 (softer and descending)
Lady Liberty: Welcome, Welcome X 2 more (louder and ascending)
Child your mother is calling you
Come mix into this melting pot
We invite the flavor, the culture, the warmth
Come to the land of the free
To the home of the brave

Whose land is this?
How far does your freedom go back?
Do you know the names of the tribes you stand on?
Who decides who stands here?

My torch is lit for you
I stand alone in the dark
Come join me
My soil is ready for your footprints
This place is one for your feet to stomp all over the restrictions
Child come swim in this liquor of liberty

Let me tell you
I fought hard for my freedom
My children are dead
My mother is dead
My father is dead
My family is dead

K: I am alone (solo)
I cannot breathe
Tell me, who is truly welcome here?
Lady liberty teach us again

I’m still teaching with open arms,
please join me, please hug me
Enrich me
Truly make me great again

Lady Liberty, you were built with broken chains at your feet
You were a gift that tried to erase the memory
Jun 09
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By: Kiran Waqar and Hawa Adam

K: We are color changing machines
H: Our survival is camouflage
We have to adapt
K: I don’t mean to brag but if there was an award for best-assimilator, I think I would win
Actually, no, we would win
H: We are the queens of chameleons, the rulers of all
K: We have so many different layers we don’t even know who we are
H: Who we are
K: Who we are
Who we are
H: Layer #1: The epidermis, its use: Protection
protecting us from ignorant predators
K: Your skin is too dark for the playground
silent objections
and isolating stares
But it is not a shell
It cannot hide us
It cannot keep us safe

K: So we develop thick skin so no one can ever see us
So no one can ever know us
Including ourselves
K: Layer #2: The chromatophore
The layer which contains yellow and red pigments
Yellow for the sun,
A blazing fire that my skin can handle, was born to handle
Red for the blood my eyes have always witnessed
H: My big eyes
They move independently, but always seem to work together
They are always aware
Looking in all directions
Traditional and contemporary
K: Looking, searching, examining
Jun 09
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By: Kiran Waqar

What makes us any different than a mountain lion?
A bumble bee?
A bat? A monster?
Is it our opposable thumbs?
The ability to understand the world around us?
The corny dad jokes?
The motherly affection?
What makes us human? What changes us from beast to person?
It is our voices
Our opinions that invoke change
That are heard from the tops of mountains
From the darkest corners where not even light can escape
We are there. We are brave. We are loud. We are unbashful. We are quiet
Whispering our beliefs
We are the change
With every breath
Opinion we alter the course of humanity
We screw the road map of society
Searching the busy roads for beautiful gems
The quiet streets for hidden messages
The forgotten allies for the forgotten folks
Every day we choose our words
Whether we support bigotry or love
Hate or peace
Joy or anger
We fight against the blanket of silence
Surrounding us
Suffocating us
Killing us
We use the daggers of our tongues to cut away the masks of society
That we should not, must not, cannot speak the crimes against the silenced.
Unless you wish to join their ranks
Do not speak of white privilege, racism, sexism, Islamophobia
You will not
You will not make them uncomfortable
Jun 06
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American Dream

American Dream

By: Kiran Waqar and Hawa Adam

Singer: Lena Ginawi

♫...Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light...♫

H - America, the golden brick road to success. A place they had seen on TV screens, books and magazines.
K- Just the thought made their heart swell. They saw Americans whose eyes glittered with passion, whose souls were filled with hope of the future. They wanted that.
H- It was a place where their children's children could reach for the sky where they could reach for the sky.
K- A place where they were told to shoot for the moon so they would land among the stars. A place where the rags to riches story was as common as their veins which bled red, white and blue.
H- Where anything could happen regardless of race, sexuality or creed. America was their ticket to equality, opportunity, and liberty. It was the promise land!
They wanted to be Americans  

And they fought with every tooth and nail

K-  Just to get here
H- Just to set foot on American soil
K- To walk the grounds that paved the way to clean water
H- Education
K- A home
With a white picket fence
K- The place that was the stuff of legends.
H- Nothing could convince them that these legends were just myths
*Lena comes in again*
K- That the American dream was just a spark that would never become a flame