What does it mean to be human?
As a brown Muslim-American who immigrated to the United States after 9/11, this question is an intimate reflection of my personal experiences navigating the hostile political landscapes and economic struggles of being a first-generation American. These experiences led me to independently design a BA in Existential Activism at Colorado College, where I merged political philosophy with media studies to explore the power of art in creating change.
My early moments watching television shows and never seeing people like me or stories like mine made me realize the power of visual representation and storytelling. As a photographer and writer I seek to empower those from underrepresented communities, highlighting their stories and people while affirming their humanity as the world appears to erase it.
I am currently pursuing an M.Div in Islam and Interreligious Engagement at Columbia University's Union Theological Seminary, where I intend to merge my Muslim identity and skills as a photographer and writer to create a visual essay that explores what it means to be Muslim in America.