Author Note: Dear Reader. I’d like you to read my essay and get comfortable with my words. I want you to place yourself in the text and feel my words.
This is not easy for me, an immigrant turned American, to write. Consider this a one-sided and inconsequential letter of a young, lost girl’s words. What is the true definition of home? Can another environment ever replace home? You’re probably wondering why I wrote this. Here’s why. My country, Iran is what I call home sweet home, or at least used to. I couldn’t see myself referring to America as my home. Home is home, and everything else is not-home. That’s the way the world is constructed. The pain I experienced at a young age took a huge toll on me and the person that I am today.
Do you know how it feels to feel lost within yourself? You’ll get used to waking up every day to the new scene that you swear could never get old. You’ll meet new kids, people who are completely different from the ones who lived in your old neighborhood. Nobody will judge you nor criticize you and the most they’d do is stare but who cares? you’d already be used to it. You’ll be so stuck in your current fairytale, so deep into the illusion, that you’d believe that this is the best decision your parents have made in all your years of living. Then days would go by, the trees would start to shed leaves, the news would talk about the rise in killings, the streets would be emptier and so is the hole in your heart because you realized that the change your parents made meant you had to leave behind the family that mattered most to you and you believe so much that you were progressing and growing because you no longer had to sleep with the fear of waking up to bad news, that your cousin didn’t make it back or your papa was brutally murdered in his home and now you’re scared. You’re all alone when you realized that the whole entire world is crazy and rather separating yourself from the people who could protect you the most, you needed to be there with them. Do you know how it feels? Home is the only illusion that makes sense, not the country that you thought moving to would diminish the fear in your heart.
In our defense, we were never looking for a new home, rather a new beginning. We never had intentions of America being our new home, at least not me. Iran would always be home to me. Wasn’t that the true definition of home? Not where you’re from, but where you are wanted. Home is the only place where your fears and doubts are cast aside but my home is fragmented, and although we all know it’s true, I’ll still lose the argument. Even if the evolutionary path of knowledge and wisdom is presented in my evidence. So I will hold my silence and create my own will to survive. And the divide will occur and I’ll still be the outsider.
Definition of home? Home could be a townhouse or it could be a small fire and the light it cast on a few familiar faces. Definition of home? Be it ever so humble, it is more than just a place. But whatever home is… its a way of organizing space in our minds. The reality is, home is where you make it and You will inevitably return to your original home at the end of such a journey.
The heat of battle, of the pounding sun, was like a cannonball inside my aching skull. dizzy, nauseous. Everything hurt…Was this really happening? Intense pain shot through my forearm. I found myself releasing low moans of pain. There’s no possible way this could be happening. Commotion arose around me and I began to get bombarded with questions from my mom, as usual, she was yelling. I hate it here. I blinked, I’m pretty sure my arm was now ruptured. It happened all so quick. There I was, attempting to ride a skateboard, no clue how to balance myself or anything. None at all. “Be safe on that thing.” my mother repeatedly bellowed at me to the point where it got annoying. There’s no possible way a skateboard could do more than a scratch. I shrugged her off, continuing to fool around on the wooden skateboard. What was supposed to be 30 minutes turned into an hour and I knew because the sun began to set and the sky began to turn crimson. I began to feel down, I couldn’t achieve the trick I was trying so hard to do. After numerous attempts, I finally built of the undying courage and I placed one on my clothed feet on the edge of the skateboard. I twisted my body and pushed my other foot on the other edge of the skateboard, or at least I tried to, because before I knew it, I was flying. I landed harshly on my arm, hearing a snap. I let out an ear-piercing scream and my neighbors’ dog began to bark. My head began to feel dizzy as the pain in my arm increased. Was this really happening? Here I am, laying on my bed, staring at the ceiling. It was blue. I was blue. It was a very blue day for me as I clutched my cast that protected my now broken arm.
Click. Click. Click. The rain padded the window. The tv sounded low. I was going crazy and some days I ask myself why do I put myself in these pitiful situations. Just 3 hours ago, I was heading to sleep and here I am in a hospital bed with an eye patch over my eye. Why do I let my infatuations get the best of me? The burning sensation began and I knew I was on the verge of tears. At least It’ll be half the tears than on a regular day. “You’re so clumsy.” “You need to stay away... You’re just too clumsy that you might destroy it.” Do you know that terrifying feeling of knowing that you’re about to fall right before you fall? The short distance between the realization and the fall is just a few seconds so there’s no point in attempting to prevent yourself from falling. The feeling of the fall, for me, isn’t as bad as the horror of the knowledge that I’m about to fall. There’s nothing I can do about it. Too tired of blaming myself, I began to blame the universe. It all made sense. I’m not clumsy. It’s just that the floors hate me, the tables and chairs are bullies. The walls are just in the way. I used to want to be a Physical Therapist but my mom told me that I would break my neck and that I couldn’t go up a flight of stairs without tripping. Now, here I am, 16 years old and I never learned how to do a backflip. Now I’m 16 years old and I want to be a writer but I’ve got a clumsy tongue and sometimes it trips over air, sometimes. This time, I’ll stick my neck out.
“Mom, I think I want to convert,” I remember telling my grandmother, who I refer to as mom most times, that I wanted to convert over to Islam. Her response was blunt, “Who are you converting for? are you doing it to benefit yourself or them?” Her response had me thinking. Was I converting to make my parents and the people around me, who were Muslim, proud? or was I doing it because I actually wanted to do it? I spent my whole life doing others wanted me to do, to make them happy but was I actually happy? why would I make a choice to do or be something when I wasn’t actually happy? Who was I doing it for? Me or them? I’d rather make mistakes while doing something that I love while being genuinely happy instead of doing what others wanted, making them happy while I was unhappy.
I remember keeping it bottled up, feeling trapped, feeling forced. I felt like I wasn’t being true to Allah. I felt like I was only Muslim to make my parents feel proud like they accomplished something. I wasn’t born into an Islamic family and I wasn’t around Muslims every day. I was confused, I felt pressured. But I couldn’t reveal that to my family and friends.
When it came to my parents, religion has always been pushed down my throat in the most forceful way. I couldn’t even be able to imagine what would happen to me at home if I declared that I no longer wanted to practice and/or be Muslim to my Muslim family and friends. So, I kept it to myself, which was the hardest thing ever. All I craved was to meeting a human and to be able to relate deeply within but I had yet to find someone with the connection to the beings around me. I thought, “Maybe if I took time to myself and dug deeper into the religion that I would actually be interested.”
First, I discovered the beauty of the five pillars of Islam, which are so gentle and lovingly composed. I still wasn’t convinced though. Fast forward to my start of freshman year. I made friends with someone who changed my outlook on Islam and my life overall... I promise you, this was one of the best things that happened to me. They showed me a side of Islam that I had been longing, and what Islam truly is and how Allah SWT is the most compassionate, forgiving, and merciful. I knew my decision to practice this religion would affect nearly every aspect of my life, but I didn’t care. My decision was a shock to many people, but it is a choice that I have never once regretted. Being Muslim is a lifestyle, not just a religion and wearing the Hijab is a dedication.
When I wear a hijab, I feel like a different person, I feel abnormal. Being more open with my religion was a challenge because people would stare, and when people gazed at me for a long amount of time, I began to feel uncomfortable, as if they’re judging me with their eyes. The Hijab is not just a headscarf, and it’s certainly not a form of oppression. If people actually took the time to understand the real meaning behind the hijab, the values of the hijab, then maybe there wouldn’t be as much ruckus as there is.
One thing that I was hesitant about was revealing that I was Muslim to the world. I never wore the Hijab to school. Would I cover for Ramadan? If I did, how would people react? On the first day of Ramadan, It was a Monday, which meant I had to go to school... Covered. I made my decision. Walking into the building, catching stares that made me uncomfortable. Taking a seat in my first class, I avoided eye contact.
“Hey Riri, I didn’t know you were Muslim.” One of my peers said. “Well Surprise.” I chuckled. Then the questions came flooding in.
“Are you Fasting? Is it Mandatory for you to cover? Do you feel beautiful? Hows your hair under your Hijab? Let me see! Let me seeeee!”
I first informed them that I was fasting and that unless you can’t fast, you should be fasting. I then informed them that it is mandatory for me to cover because it helps me preserve my modesty and morals. I also told them that I am not allowed to describe what my hair looks like under my hijab, for it is a sin to do so. Lastly, I explained that I feel beautiful in my skin and in my Hijab. It felt great to be able to share with others without getting overlooked.
“Do you like to be referred to as a Hijabi?”
“Hijabi” isn’t offensive, but it isn’t the first word I’d use to describe myself, therefore it’s not how I’d like to be defined. I respect women who choose to have the word ‘Hijab’ in their title but for me, I feel as if I’m being placed in another category as if I’m not normal when in reality, we’re just normal people who have a strong passion for our religion.
“Well, Tyria, you look cute.” One of my classmates cooed and I smiled, “Thank you.”
After recieving many compliments from many of the students, I felt more comfortable. I felt beautiful. I felt proud to be Muslim.
You & The World
Homelessness – A Deeper Look
Ending a perplexing problem such as homelessness requires commitment, patience, and faith. As a community, and a whole, we can, and we will do this.
In the homelessness community, people of poverty are stereotyped. For instance, people believe that Homeless people refuse help which is in the middle of true and false but being homeless for so long can build up a strong amount of fear, even towards the people that want to help you and some people of poverty suffer from paranoid disorders. Another stereotype of homelessness is that helping the people of poverty is a waste of me and in my opinion, this stereotype is very cruel. It’s not a waste of time, it’s more of a big responsibility and a moral duty.
In my first post regarding my you and the world project, I introduce homelessness and people's views on homelessness. I also include the rate of homelessness and how anyone can experience this horrific terror. I chose to base my project on homelessness because people without homes are no different from us, they are still human beings.
For the final part of my you and the world project, I decided to, along with my partner and I tried to get in touch with organizations but I received no responses. I donated bags of clothes that I no longer could fit to a shelter called Dignity & Fairness-Homelessness but, unfortunately, I was too in the moment and forgot to remind my siblings to take a few pictures. My main goal is to try and change the negative point of view that people have on people of poverty.
With my agent of change, I attempted to have a different mindset on people of poverty. I somehow understood where they came from as if I was in the same situation. A homeless life is not a comfortable life, and i’m sure a person with common sense can understand this. No one would choose a lifestyle that is unhealthy, dangerous to their health, stressful, and humiliating so we cannot act as if they chose to live like this, 96% of homeless people are uncomfortable with this lifestyle.
I decided to do this by putting myself in their shoes, how would I feel? The thing that people fail to understand is that we could be in their shoes today, tomorrow, or in a couple of years so we should remain humble. Being homeless is a condition, it is not a character effect or a character flaw so people that think just because intelligence and ambition, nothing that serious can happen to them and they’re wrong. Lawyers, nurses, doctors, teachers, many people have found themselves homeless. Anyone can find themselves in this predicament if they don’t have the finance that they need to have a normal life.
I learned so much while pursuing my goals for this agent of change.
I felt very much positive about this project and I had this strong mindset that I would make an actual change, but I didn’t.
For this agent of change, I could’ve been more interested. That was the main problem that I had during this project, I lost interest and fell off. I had negative energy after my first post.
I feel like me, and others, could still make a possible change for the people of poverty.
B. Explain how you found negative space in your cut out?
In order for me to find the negative space in my cut out, I found the spaces and boundaries, and compared them to the other pieces.
C. Why does it help an artist to see in negative space?
It helps artist so that it forms a correct space.
D. Does seeing in negative space enhance drawings, why or why not?
Yes, negative space creates a successful piece of art.
Homelessness is the condition of people without a permanent dwelling, such as a house or apartment. People who are homeless are most often unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, secure and adequate housing.
They walk amongst the inner city streets restless, hungry and cold trying to make a few dollars so that they can eat. However, after hours of embarrassment and public negativity, they hardly make enough money to buy a cup of coffee. In the unconscious eye of the public, the homeless are viewed as scammers and people who due to their outward appearances and their economic status are considered to be a people of lesser value. It is only through the conscience media eye of the public that the problem of homelessness is acknowledged. Unfortunately the homeless only receive acknowledgment during major holidays, and it’s during these periods that we see them sheltered, in new apparel and fed. Seeing the media portray the homeless in this state provides us with temporary justification for all the times that some of us neglected them in the past.
Philadelphia has a high poverty rate of 26 percent, one of the highest in the nations. You see homelessness everywhere, but the difference between Philadelphia and other cities is that our city approaches this issue. Every year, about 15,000 people in Philadelphia get placed into shelters. In 2015, 400 thousand people were found living in poverty, but not much could be done. In 2016, homelessness organizations in Philadelphia reached out to over 6,500 individuals living on the streets, in cars, abandoned buildings, transportation stations, and other places where it’s not safe for humans to sleep. In 2017. Veteran homelessness has not desisted, and youth homelessness is an important problem, especially with LGBT teens.
I chose to base my project on homelessness because people without homes are no different from us, they are still human beings. That could have been us if circumstances had been different. Imagine after one last emotional embrace between you and your parents, your dad reaches into his pocket and pulls out his wallet and hands you a twenty dollar bill, which just happens to be all that he has. As you began to wipe the tears from your eyes, you officially acknowledge that you are now homeless. Although your current situation is depressing, you breathe sigh of relief knowing that at least your children are in good hands and won’t have to carry the emotional baggage of being homeless. Before walking you take one last look at your parents and smile at the thought of how they expressed their love for you over the course of your life. It’s with this overwhelming feeling that you draw strength from to overcome homeless and with that, you begin to walk. Little do you know that living on the streets will test you like no other trial in your life has done before. It breaks my heart writing this, it breaks my heart I was once a naive child that made fun of the homeless. Now I am trying to make a change. It is my passion to help those in need.
By the closing of this post, the reader will be aware of homelessness and the reason why I chose to base my project on this topic. As I said before, the issue that I'm trying to fix, or at least change is homelessness. Goal #1 for this project is to interview at least three to four homeless shelters. Goal #2 for this project is to raise funding to donate to the shelters. Goal #3 for this project is to contact opportunities to add emergency shelter. Goal #3 is to provide care packages to help support the homelessness and the agencies.
Annotated Bibliography https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-J9RsVGcXvLYZ8EpymZhmyvwFxYdwe9kQkntE4zTJns/edit
On my local area network, i have a home phone, the ethernet, the router, my brother's xbox, the front room tv, my phone, my brothers phone, my moms phone, and my dads phone. they are all connected to the wifi except for the home phone, the house phone is just connected to the internet.
Yes, i did have an OMG moment when i found out some important facts about my wireless connection. I found out that Verizon Wireless sells Wi-Fi hotspot devices, and home Internet services includes 4G LTE Broadband Router with Voice that can power a home's wireless network and connect up to 10 devices and a home phone.
An ISP (Internet service provider) is a company that provides individuals and other companies access to the Internet and other related services such as web site building. An ISP has the telecommunication line access required to have a special presence on the Internet. The larger ISPs have their own high speed so that they are less dependent on the telecommunication providers and can provide better service to their customers. Among the largest national and regional ISPs are AT&T WorldNet, IBM Global Network, MCI, Netcom, UUNet, and PSINet.