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‘My Hijab, My Wings’ — a Seattle girl’s poem

What’s it like to face discrimination for the things you believe? Sumeya Block is 13 years old and an 8th grader at Seattle Girls’ School. Last month, she attended “Make Your Voice Heard: An MLK Day Youth Advocacy Workshop,” an event where young people in Seattle helped each other combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. And she wrote this poem, she told us, to tell “haters and people who have misconceptions about Islam that regardless of their opinions, my Hijab inspires and uplifts me.”

My Hijab, My Wings

By Sumeya Block

Purple, pink, blue, red,

     Soft, woven, knit flowy.

            STRONG

I wear wings on my head. I wear a hijab on my head.

The feathers, small fabric. Wing span the size of my

                     World.

Swish, swish, swish, flap, flap, flap.

Keep pumping, holding myself up high.

Pieced together from the fragments of my world. These wings hold me, but sometimes they begin to

                    Falter.

When the haters thrust their opinions my way. Their words raw and cold start to seep in, The fabric, my wings start to get pulled down by these false hands. These hands holding on to what they don’t want to accept are lies.  Because that means they are wrong and the monster is not me.

Then,

               I Remember.

I am unapologetic.

   I am Sumeya.

I will let the fabrics of my life carry me away. Up and down, always afloat always strong.

             Always a bird.

When I falter,

              I go higher.