Sandy Ismail (BFA Editing, 2017) is a Lebanese-American, born and raised in Astoria, Queens, NY. Her latest project, We Make the Change, is a documentary short comprised of phone calls from people speaking about the executive order banning muslims from seven countries enacted this weekend by the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
I texted few friends and asked if it’s okay if they can leave me a voicemail about what they are feeling about the recent events.
I didn’t even think of making this.
It just happened.
I felt pain.
I made something important.
With everything going on right now…
I cannot think straight.
It does not feel right.
I cannot even say his name.
I cannot even say he is my President.
He does not represent what a real leader is.
We became the nation that turns its back on the most needed.
We became the nation that turns its back on the Statue of Liberty and destroyed everything she stands for.
Yes I am a Muslim.
Yes I am a American.
But after this, I honestly do not feel wanted. I do not feel American. People may not tell if I’m Muslim or not on public transportation or anywhere else because I don’t wear the hijab. But that does not mean I am any less of a Muslim.
That does not mean I don’t get affected.
That does not mean I am not mentally and emotionally in pain.
To feel unwanted by other Americans.
To feel unwanted by “friends” who I thought would not judge my religion or my ethnicity.
One thing that keeps me going is hope.
God gives me hope.
I went out to first march in Washington Square Park when they were about to pass the Muslim ban order.
I went out to the march in Battery Park.
I am going to JFK in a few days to translate in Arabic for those lawyers that are in need to free these refugees, immigrants, green card holders…
I will keep marching.
I will keep trying.
I will not give up.