Monthly Archives: April 2017

year one at USC

today was my last day on the USC campus until fall semester. what a whirlwind for my first year.

former MSW’s told me that the first year would be challenging. so much of being a good mental health provider is working through your own traumas. in the words of my favorite professor: “you gotta own your own shit before you can help someone else”

oh man was she right. the intersectionality of being a woman, an afghan, a muslim, the child of refugees, a survivor of trauma, depression & anxiety. i pathologized the sh*t out of myself and learned to name the feelings and experiences that i’d been suffocating because of social stigmas. and my alopecia came back this month with a vengeance – as a reminder that being mindful is the only healthy way to cope with stress.

but as social workers we always strive towards a strengths-based approach. towards promoting resilience. towards empowering ourselves so that we can empower our clients.

the afghan-american conference could not have come at a better time. this weekend i’ve been given the opportunity to yet again engage my community. to pose challenging questions that force us to examine ourselves as diaspora children. i’ll be seeing all of the AAC attendees in Washington, DC. please attend the roundtable discussion on afghan-american identity! i am looking forward to seeing you there. & also can we collectively egg the White House? k cool thanks. (JK … i think)

to my professors, colleagues, roommates, family & friends: thank you so much for your support this year. i know i could not have done it without you. to my little clients who have no way of reading this because they’re elementary school kids, (lol) i learned so much from you. these children were some of the most resilient, optimistic, kind little souls i’ve ever met. i am so sad to terminate my time with you but am confident in your success.

cheers to being 365 days closer to my social work degree <3

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recognize the Armenian Genocide 

The marches

In the desert

Their feet blistered and bloody

Our refugees

We see them

In videos and we see them in pictures

We know they are running away

From the mouth of a snake

But what if there were no videos

What if only quiet stories told us

Stories that have been silenced

By dictators

By nationalists

By corrupt politicians

What if we only heard our grandmother in the living room

Mourning her family

What if we had to fight

To get records of her existence

Then our wounds would still be open

Even a century later

If you mourn for the refugee

Read about the Armenians

And learn about a people who still find

The bones of their loved ones

Underneath sand in Der Zor


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it is that easy 

And just like that

You could

Walk into my home

Make yourself a plate

Run your fingers through my hair

Kiss the bruises you left me with

And I would make you a spot in my bed

I would place two pillows instead of one

I would sleep on the side I hate because

You like the other

Just like that

I’d inconvenience myself

I’d open up my ribcage

I’d tell you

My heart is still your home. The one you forget. The one you neglect. It’s all yours.

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Meeting my WCW: Shadia Mansour


British Palestinian MC Shadia Mansour exercises non-violent protest against Israeli occupation through her music. Shadia’s lyrics are raw and powerful, not only challenging Israel, but calling for Hamas and Fatah to stop fighting amongst each other. Born to Christian parents, Mansour travelled to Palestine as a child, and has taken on a “musical intifada” against the occupation, conservatism, and the oppression of women. She has collaborated with Juice Rosado of Public Enemy, M-1, Lowkey, and has been featured in Rolling Stones. She has refused to perform to gender-separated audiences.

AF3IRM gave SWANA-LA the opportunity to meet Shadia to discuss social justice issues this week. It was an amazing experience and SWANA-LA is looking forward to more collaboration!

Here’s one of my faves from Shadia:

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