election night

November 2016

Ironically, I was with the HDS Muslims (and some other Muslims from around the community) on the night of the election, and it was painful. The past week at school has been even more painful. We’ve been going through stages of grieving. Shock turned to rage turned to deep sadness. I cried in two of my classes—not just a few tears, like, streaming-down-my-face kind of tears. Professors cried. For days, I couldn’t sleep at night…crashed around 4 a.m. to sleep for a few hours.

I’m surprised that the results of this election have been so visceral, raw, and—well, bodily. Post-election discussions at Harvard have addressed the election as a traumatic event, and I really do feel that there’s a lot of community trauma right now.

One of my Muslim friends, who is a first-year student at HDS, has family members in Michigan who have been threatened; as she kept getting phone calls from her mom about these threats last week, she asked her mom what to do. My friend was wondering if she should go home and be with family. Her mom chastised her, told her to get up off the ground (figuratively), and get to work. This response was heartening, full of energy and life. She told her daughter, “Your father and I didn’t immigrate to America for you to quit…”

And so, a fire has been lit—or rekindled—in many of us.

Rise Up

September 2016

rise

Last week at noon service (a weekly interfaith worship gathering at HDS), I sobbed through the sermon and “die-in,” where black students lay on the floor to symbolize and protest the killings of our black brothers and sisters across the nation. The weight of violence crushed on me, and I poured out tears. I thought about Christ taking the pain of the world. Although that is HIS role—not mine!—I couldn’t help but grieve for the hatred, strife, thoughtlessness, and ignorance of humans. Then Debbie sang Rise Up and I will never forget the feeling in that room as the “dead” rose (symbolic on multiple levels!).

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