I hope we realize that the life we all share (and don’t share) on the internet and social media is a conscious decision.
I think sometimes people look at an instagram or blog or facebook as if its a 100% representation of who that person is.
I look at my photographs that I share and wonder if people think my life is just one big carnival cruise. Haha. It’s definitely not. And alhamdulillah. I wouldn’t want to have a life that I didn’t earn and work for. I wouldn’t want a life that was just filled with a high point. Because then I wouldn’t feel all that high, would I? And I wouldn’t understand and appreciate the sensation that is triumph.
This is what I love about photographs. What it will mean to you is one thing. What I really felt at that point of my life is another thing. Sometimes I felt completely lost. Other times I felt so secure in who I was.
The story a photograph tells is in the eye of the beholder.
There are many parallels to be drawn between the Palestinian cause and the African American cause in the USA.
Some will try to delegitimize both causes.
They will say things like:
"The foolish Palestinian people chose terrorism and Hamas over building a stronger Gaza infrastructure."
"African Americans have their freedom now but just don’t work hard. They are thugs who don’t value education."
"Palestinians hate Israelis."
"African Americans still blame white people for their struggles today."
They will try and turn it all the way around and put the emphasis on the oppressed to explain their actions. Don’t fall for it. They are not in any moral position to condemn your communities and put them down.
You never have to feel the need to legitimize yourself or your people in order for you to have the same justice and freedom of others.
Instead ask them why are you killing innocent young black males in the street?
Why are you killing innocent Palestinian families in airstrikes?
Working in the professional world has taught me one thing:
There are people who will alwaysview your ethnicity as different or strange regardless of how nice, open, and welcoming you are to them. It doesn’t matter how elegantly you explain it to them or how patient you are with them. They will look at you as foreign and ask you the same over generalized questions no matter how many times you’ve answered them.
And I have some advice for anyone out there who ever feels uncomfortable at work because of the color of their skin, the way they talk, the make up of their religion, or the homeland of their parents:
Be unapologetic and never doubt how important it is to be who you are. Wear it as a merit of authenticity that they will never comprehend and never conform down to what their expectations of normalcy may be.