Community Member Submission
Writing and photography by Nausheena Hussain.

Anxiety at the pit of my belly as I get pulled aside for increased security at Ben Gurion Airport.

Blessed for all the amenities and security I have- home, family, money, food, clothing

Confused how anyone of a faith can oppress another or take a life

Despair — are interfaith relationships just a fantasy we tell ourselves to sleep better at night?

Elated to pray where the Prophets once prayed, to be invited to the third holiest mosque!

Al-Qibli mosque within Al-Aqsa Compound

Frustrated over 50 people in our group never being on time, always waiting, wasting away the day

Guilty as an American about what my taxes pay for, whom we oppress, the atrocities done as a nation to other nations

Hope in people who are trying to make a change in the world.

Insulted as IDF soldiers standing guard at the Damascus gates to the entrance into Masjid al Aqsa ask me if I’m Muslim and to prove it. Recite Surah al Fatiha.

Joyful to pray in the Dome of the Rock on a Friday, in a space only for Muslim women!

Dome of the Rock in Al-Aqsa compound

Keen on understanding more, reading, listening, watching history about Jerusalem

Lucky for everything that Allah has given me knowing it could be taken away at any moment, by those who fear me without cause.

Mournful standing in front of a wall with the names of children, for the lives lost, homes destroyed, families tortured in Aida.

Entrance to the Aida Refugee Camp

Nervous going through two security checkpoints, past 12 IDF guards armed with AK-47s, fingers on the trigger, in order to enter Masjid Ibraheemi.

Overjoyed to visit Tiberias, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jericho, and the Jordan River, where Jesus walked on water, and understand the Christian narrative.

Peaceful in the pre-dawn early morning hours, praying, reciting Quran, making dua’as.

Quiet as I listen and find meaning and hope while staring at the separation wall.

Standing in front of the Apartheid wall that separates Palestinians from each other

Repugnant to witness the psychological distress, oppressive systems, and hate.

Sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians for their Right to Return to their villages.

Touched by the love and welcoming nature of the Palestinians.

Art in a refugee camp

Upset seeing bullet holes in apartment buildings left by snipers shooting into a refugee camp.

Vulnerable as I share my own emotions and reactions because everyone judges.

Art in a refugee camp

Wary wondering if peace and tolerance will find their way back to Jerusalem, Palestine, or Israel.

X marks my face at Customs and Border patrol while I’m trying to reenter my homeland.

Yearning to return one day, visit, pray, learn, meet, and build relationships in the Holy Land.

Zealous in my pursuit for social justice.

Nausheena Hussain is the co-founder and Executive Director of Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment. She is dedicated in building a movement to address leadership development, increase community engagement, and create a philanthropic legacy for change. Follow her on Twitter @nausheena.

Nausheena Hussain, Executive Director of RISE

The views expressed in this post are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect AMP-MN’s views.

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