"How can you be Mexican and Muslim?"

Meet Marya Ayloush. 

Marya is half Mexican and half Syrian and her story of being what she calls herself “Trump’s Boogeywoman” is captivating. 

Marya is the daughter of activist and her passion and commitment to social justice is radiating. We had a Chicana/Chicano studies course together last quarter and her inquisitiveness and desire to learn and expand her knowledge is beyond prevalent. I’m extremely grateful and humbled that she would even be willing to be part of Change in Color.

To be frank, Marya's story was captivating. It wasn't because of the message or the new information I learned but because of her candidness. The story she shared about the hate crime she experienced in Santa Monica was the first time she publicly shared that story. As she was talking about it, I was getting chills down my spin and was so hurt to realize that this is a daily attack that happens on Muslim woman and no one seems to care. 

There was so much we talked about with Marya off camera, and in between takes that I wish could be included, the stories and the horrors she shared truly need to come to light. I’m disgusted by how much xenophobia and racism continues to fuel this country and how many people get away with assaulting minorities. Anyone who calls themselves an activist should recognize the importance in getting refreshed on other causes and fights that may not be as relevant to your community or culture. I painstakingly admit that I’m ignorant to a lot of the challenges Muslims encounter and I’m disappointed in myself for not making a better effort to become more aware. Marya’s story opened my eyes and made me realize that knowing the bare minimum is not acceptable and that if I’m going to call myself an activist I need to invest more effort and research into learning more about Muslim culture and the injustices and fights they endure as well. I’m so so so grateful that people like Marya exist who are encouraging and willing to engage in conversation rather than judge and shame those who are unaware YET willing to learn.


Marya Ayloush.


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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Muslim World Today.

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