This poem comes on Day 20 of our special Altmuslim/Patheos Muslim Ramadan #30Days30Writers blog project, in which we are showcasing the voices of 30 Muslim leaders, activists, scholars, writers, youth and more (one on each day of Ramadan) as part of our commitment to own our own narratives and show how we are one Ummah, many voices. To demonstrate how our Ramadan experiences are shared yet unique to each of us.
Pray for me
I am the orphan of Gaza
My parents were shot by the Isreali army
It was a human rights violation really
But nobody knows that
Because we’re old news, we’re history. It’s “just another bombing.”
Pray for us, pray for me
I am a child in Pakistan whose parents passed away during the earthquakes
The Taliban adopted me and gave me food, shelter, education
There’s only a few of us who believe what they tell us
I learn this way because I did not have any money to go to a better school
I do not want to end up like them.
I don’t know what they’re doing but I know it’s not Islam.
Pray for me to learn my religion correctly.
I am a girl in Afghanistan, but I have to pretend to be a boy
Because I have to beg on the streets, where it’s dangerous for me to be a girl
They might kidnap me, make me their slave, anything for money
These countries run on money. Sometimes it’s because they have to.
When I beg, I secretly hope they give me food
Because when they give me money I have to give it to the grown ups who make me beg but feed me
Give me food or at least, pray for me.
I am a woman in Somalia, they forget about us sometimes
I am sick of people referring to Somalia as just “Africa”
And referring to our problem as the “African Hunger Crisis”
Our country and continent are beautiful, full of culture and love
But no, to you we are just poor hungry starving people with AIDs
Pray that others educate themselves about our rich history and culture
I am an Indian professional woman in the United States
My husband abuses me because he was taught that it was okay
The abused women in the old Bollywood movies just tolerated it
Because that’s what makes a real lady
I cannot divorce even though my country and my religion allow it
Because my culture doesn’t understand
Pray for the cultural values to change with my new generation.
I am the soldier in Libya who sat next to my gun, ready to fight, while I broke my fast with a date and water
And look, my effort is worth it
You must have prayed for us.
I am the blogger in Egypt who posted videos on youtube of the Egyptian government torturing people
I wanted to raise awareness and show people the corruption behind the government
So they arrested me, and tortured me.
But for the sake of my people my passion didn’t die
And look, where your prayers got me and my country. Keep praying.
I am a Muslim woman in London
I love my country but it hates me sometimes
I don’t have another home; this is my home
But sometimes they won’t listen to my story, or bother to find out who I really am
Pray for these ignorant people. Pray that it becomes easier on us.
I am a woman of Cairo
And I am SICK of the way these men look at me
Why is it okay to look at me like that? Who gave you the permission?
What if your mom, sister, wife, daughter was being looked at like that?
What’s up with the double standards?
Pray for their souls. Pray that we have the energy to continue the fight.
I am a Muslim woman in the United States
I am fortunate and blessed, but I have to fight for my civil rights
This country treats me like an outsider even though I serve this country
I want to change the Islamophobia in our society, and I need your help,
So pray for me.
I am the power of prayer
Do not underestimate me
I have proven to you time and time again
That I am on call 24/7
Use me. I am your most powerful tool.
Kinza Khan is a J.D. graduate from DePaul University College of Law with a focus in international human rights and civil rights. Her work has been published in academic journals and local newspapers. She can be followed on Twitter @KinzaK89.