My Itinerary

Cosmo’s Fun Fearless Life Weekend

11/15/2014

It was an absolute blast attending Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Life event last weekend. It was pretty much a girls’ club of all the fiery women I know and love, from Jillian Michaels and Sophia Amoruso to Aliza Licht and more. Even though I had heard her speak before, I was particularly moved by Sara Blakely’s talk; this time around, I felt like her story of her modest beginnings really paralleled some of my current experiences. Continue Reading…

My Life

Playing Catch Up

10/30/2014

Here I am, a few months later, lifted by a flurry of interviews, events, and great times, 50 pounds lighter, and whole lot D.C.-wiser. Wow. I guess this is a good moment to catch my breath.

Don’t worry, I’ve been documenting everything through tweets, selfies, and incessant Facebook posts. But there have been much deeper experiences that I’ve had to reflect on — like the tit-for-tat, ladder-climbing, selfish and unspoken understanding of basically every professional maneuvering themselves in the Capitol, the disappointing realization of which caused me to second guess whether I really wanted to even be here after all. There was a moment that I allowed myself to be used by people that I truly believed had the best intentions, and the disillusionment that came after was something I had to come to terms with if I wanted to survive. Continue Reading…

My Activism

White House Candlelight Vigil for Gaza

07/31/2014

While I was printing out the names of the murdered Palestinian people of Gaza for last night’s vigil, I almost threw up. It was so difficult scrolling through them. They were endless. I was dividing the names up into groups of 50 for each speaker to read off in front of the White House, and my page breaks landed indiscriminately between lines of faceless text. I was breaking up families with my enter button. They couldn’t even rest peacefully together on bland printer paper in an office on the other side of the world from the hell they were trapped in. Continue Reading…

My Activism

I Was Physically Assaulted at a Pro-Israel Rally in DC and the Cops Did Nothing

07/17/2014
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I was physically attacked at a pro-Israel rally in DC today. I wasn’t even there for five minutes before it happened.

I’m “okay.” Physically. But I feel so disgustingly violated and horrified. Today, an Israeli man felt entitled to put his hands on me, an Arab woman, hitting me so hard that my bracelet ripped off my wrist, while onlookers yelled slurs at me in Hebrew, cursed at me in English, and made obscene gestures at me simply for standing with a counterprotest. One man told me, “You’re in Israel right now!” (that’s a mild version of how they treat Arabs in Israel) — and I think that really sums up the attitude of our government and the pro-Israel camp as a whole. Last I checked, this was the United States of America. And I’m an American.

Israeli man: “You can’t stand with us! You should be standing on the other side of the fence!”
Me: “This isn’t Israel. We don’t have apartheid here. I don’t have to stand on the other side of a fence from you.”

Worse, the cops watched this all happen and did nothing, ignored my pleas to file a police report before the man got away, and even responded condescendingly and dismissively to me when I told them I worked for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. They were not there to protest or help. Not me, at least. Continue Reading…

My Life

Home of the Brave

07/07/2014

This blog has been constantly on my mind the past few weeks — every time something cool happened, I’d be like, “OMG! I totally have to write about this,” but then when I don’t get the chance to blog about it right away, so much stuff happens that it accumulates and I can’t fathom the prospect of blogging about it all at once and then MORE TIME PASSES AND MORE STUFF HAPPENS and I just dig a deeper hole for myself, so here I am, jumping the gun, with the world’s longest opening run-on sentence for your viewing pleasure. Continue Reading…

My Life

Step into my office, no trend topic.

06/10/2014
my desk

Some may think it’s corny that the pics I use are all straight from my phone, smothered with filters from about three different apps, and often from my Snapchat. I happen to think it’s pretty organic and genuine to the lived experience, in true time at that. I’m pretty into organic things these days. I’ve been cooking up a storm lately in a preemptive attempt to live a healthy and affordable lifestyle in — what I just discovered today — is the most expensive city in America. It ain’t easy ballin’ on a budget. Continue Reading…

My Life

I’m in the 202.

06/06/2014
the first fortune cookie

I’m officially a DC resident! The past few days have been so busy, from my graduation/going away dinner earlier this week to final goodbyes at Rutgers to finally moving in yesterday and exploring my surroundings today. A lot has happened so I want to try to jot down the things that stood out the most. I honestly just want to get this down while I have the chance before something comes up and I have to roll it all over for the next day again! Continue Reading…

My Itinerary

Arise and Shine

06/01/2014
arise makeup

I need to get more used to taking pictures when I’m out and about that aren’t just selfies…

Here’s Arise TV‘s makeup room, which I apparently found more pertinent to take a picture of than the (beautiful) studio itself. It’s no secret that I get excited about makeup.

I was at Arise yesterday to give a live interview about Farzana Parveen’s horrific honor killing in Pakistan. At first, I wasn’t sure if I should commit to the invitation because I had a speaking engagement back in New Jersey that night that I needed to prepare for. But, Sami told me that if I had the chance to tell people that honor killings had nothing to do with Islam like they’re so wildly portrayed to be by the media, then it was my responsibility to take it. Continue Reading…