For the past three years, I have attended Islamic School every Sunday. I enjoy learning about the Islamic religion and Arabic language. This experience has brought me closer to my family because I can better communicate with my parents and my extended family. Not only does it teach me about myself and my religion but I also learn about Egypt, where my family originated from and how they fit in with America. This experience has given me opportunities to practice time management skills, as I already balance two schools with homework, athletics and other extra curricular activities.
Islamic School has helped me learn more about politics and how America and Western countries perceive Muslims and Arabs as people. It is a place where I can go for guidance or help to deal with things that affect me as a Muslim and a teen. I also benefit from learning about other Abrahamic Religions such as Judaism and Christianity, which are religions that are very similar. By learning more about these religions, I can understand more about my friends and their respective religions. When I learn about certain Prophets, I can feel empathy for them when they were being persecuted back then and how Muslims are being discriminated against today. I better understand how this long history of religion and culture has guided me to be the person I am today, how hard my ancestors worked and what they went through. I really enjoy how this community allows other religions to join the School and learn more about the religion. Every Sunday we have a whole school assembly, and during this time the principle tells us about what he went through at our age and teaches us important life lessons which will benefit us as we go through life. I have made many friends and close relationships with people through this community and grown as a person. This experience has been impactful on many levels for me and I am grateful that I have this group of people to learn from and guide me. I am still learning how to read but I speak Arabic fluently and there are 3 levels out of 4 in my grade section.
A big experience or encounter is just going to Town. It's been a challenge by being 1/5 of Muslims in Town (including my brother). It's been a daunting task to explain to people what Islam really is and how it's a peaceful religion. It is hard to go to school sometimes with what is going around in politics today. If I have issues about Islam in school I can't really go anywhere to express my feelings. At Town I am usually the person to go to for insight or the knowledge about Islam.
When I think about this question, the first person who comes to my mind is Percy Jackson. Percy Jackson is from the Percy Jackson Greek mythology series. It talks about a 17 YO from New York. He struggles with ADHD and has a single mother. He is an inspiration to me because he is not as wealthy as the other kids at his school like me but he has the strength to work hard and fight through his issues at school. I have issues at school by being the only Muslim student and a person of color from a large percentage of Whites.
One person who has influenced me is my Dad. My Dad grew up without a father but worked hard to get his education and provide as the youngest sibling in his family. He has been an inspiration to me and has showed me show I can become a better student and be open minded. He has also showed me the brighter side of education and it doesn't matter what school you go to but what you do there so you can get a better education. With my dad he grew in a public school system but did well so he could receive a full ride in college and high school.
Islamophobia is very important to me because It is a big issue today in the World. I have been a victim of Islamophobia before and try to clarify the religion of Islam. It is also a big part of politics today and with the current president and his comments towards people with the same beliefs that I have. Every year at Town the 8th graders have something called IP. IP is where you choose a topic that you feel you have a understanding about and you are comfortable sharing. I chose Islamophobia because it is something important to me and I think people would benefit from my story. Also after terrorists attacks Islam has been perceived as a dangerous religion, I think it is my goal to tell people at my school about how peaceful of a Religion it really is.