By Ayah Chehade from Chicago
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes
A letter to our new President:
Thank you. And I mean this sincerely. Here’s why:
For a while now, I’ve been praying for clarity – for God to clear the path for me and show me exactly what it is that I should pursue – what was important to me & what, in the end, would be good for both my livelihood and the state of my soul. You being elected president was part of God’s plan to answer that prayer.
As I saw you standing there, eyebrows furrowed till your eyes weren’t visible, hair combed forward over your face, and hands in a fist at your sides, something CLICKED.
And that was this: Institutions that thrive off of power and money and the gullibility of the masses have never helped me. It is the people around me that have hoisted me onto their shoulders so that I may look over the fences you propose to build to see a rightful chance at opportunity and truth. Namely, it is my parents. As we toil towards policies to better serve us we cannot forget those who have ALWAYS served us despite the odds working against them. Those who have been there in every up and down. Those who did not wait for things to be politically convenient to sacrifice for us. Those who did not handle things as diplomatic circumstances would ordain but as we as living breathing individuals needed.
Donald Trump, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Ayah Chehade: Born to Asmaa Elhayboubi of Morocco’s bustling coastal city and Mohamad Chehade of a village tucked within the folds of the magnificent mountains of Lebanon. These individuals have tackled all challenges that have come their way and continue to do so. It is through THEIR sacrifices and THEIR boundless love that I am who I am today. Look at their faces and know that within them is a power you will never taste, for they have raised 5 beautiful children and have given to their community in the most selfless of ways, in ways that will continue through generations. My parents – those whom you propose are inconvenient to the good of America – I would argue, have done more good in America than the average American.
Although my name may never get to media outlets like yours did, and although it may never reach your desk in the White House, I want to express to you how much change I will work towards throughout your presidency and beyond. I will be a force of friction to the laws you try to impose upon my family and me, and immigrant families everywhere. I will be a challenge to every word you utter that attempts to defame us or dehumanize us. I will work with the people as one of the people. I may not work in an oval office or have a million followers on twitter. I may not have POTUS before my name and I, most certainly, do not have a bank of billions to back up my claims. But I believe strongly and fervently in the hearts of the people. That is where change is made. Every small action and word and positive intention is a seed planted to cultivate love, and justice, and truth… and one day you will find these seeds reaped and brought before you.
The first step towards justice is to be just towards those closest to you to whom you owe all of your success.
I stand on the shoulders of my great grandfather from the agricultural regions of Morocco, a traditionally learned scholar, who, on his deathbed, forgot everything save the entirety of the Quran he had memorized (may Allah have mercy on him). Of my grandmother who worked as a teacher her whole life and represents a wisdom I have never encountered elsewhere. Of my grandfather who is still remembered in his village as a sheikh to whom people looked to for support and empowerment, always (may Allah have mercy on him). Of my parents who came here to pursue knowledge where they could not find it back home and who, by fate, found each other.
And the list goes on and on…..
I, Ayah Chehade, am an American. One who is incredibly proud of my heritage. I come from a family of purpose and courage who have instilled within me such strong values that even I am often surprised by how deeply they have taken root within me. I am supported by friends who I do not even deserve that have become to me an extension of my family. Walking beside me is a community the likes of which rivals any official document you may sign.
To draw from the laws of physics, Murphy’s Law states that “If anything can go wrong, it will…” and today, by our human faults, it did. But Physics is also a creation of God, as is everything. Your presidency is an exact and calculated part of a larger Plan.
As God says, “With every hardship, comes ease.” While things may have gone wrong. Things have also gone right. And that brings us to Newton’s first law of motion: “An object at rest stays at rest …unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
Trump, in your skewed politics and perception of the world, you ARE our unbalanced force. You are the Universe’s way of PUSHING us into action.
You have given me clarity today. My purpose is to protect and cultivate. You have helped me center my intentions and refine them to be driven forces of Good.
Try to mess with my family and families like mine… you’ll be met with the same spirit of patriotism you are so apt to use against us.
Thank you, President Donald Trump.
And indeed, God Bless America.
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