"I'm Muslim and I have three girls that are ten, eight, and two, and this is just not the America I grew up in. I just never saw this kind of hate; I see it online and it's unbelievable. When 9/11 happened, I really didn't think I was one of the terrorists. I married a Muslim man. He's not verbally abusive, he doesn't make me cover my hair. I was racist against the Middle East then, when 9/11 happened, even though my dad's from there. My husband changed my mind and I think that to just generalize and categorize that this one community's bad; I've been proven wrong by my husband and I really support this idea now. This is causing way too much hate than it needs to. It's just too much. Like, I guess the education system is really flawed to spread such hate; I guess when you lack education, maybe? But this really hurts me for my daughters. It's for my daughters, basically, because I didn't grow up in this kind of America. I was Muslim all my life and I played with regular kids. Some guy told me that we behead people. I don't know, I never beheaded anyone, so this really bothers me. There are extremists, yes, there are bad people, but my husband taught me one thing and he always said it: 'There's bad people and good people in every community. Hate is in every community but we have to minimize it as much as possible.'"
"I sing and I'm a young entrepreneur, just trying to let everybody know that it's most important just to love yourself regardless of who you are. My mom saved me from a dangerous situation; I'm adopted so she saved me from what I could've been, the worst side of me. But I'm blessed with this singing talent that's a curse and a gift at the same time--it's so frustrating. I'm a perfectionist and whatever I do, I have to make sure it's perfect. It's a love/hate relationship."
"My daughter is one year old; her name is Aila Rose and she likes to copy everything I do. She likes to sit there and do her makeup with me, she'll do her hair with me and she's on this baby doll kick where she wraps it up in this little blanket and she makes me change her diaper..."
My guitar helps take away scars that I've been going through. My mom passed away in January, so it takes my memory away from that. I play music to get out of my head, really. Keeps my mind off of things and focused on the future.
"My friend and I were 16 and it was actually after a big basketball game. He wanted me to go out to a party with him. I decided not to go out to the party and I guess driving back home, there was a drunk driver on the road and my friend tried to swerve off to get out of the way because he was in his lane, and he hit a tree and died on impact. That was almost ten years ago now. One thing that I remember about him was his shoulder line. He had really broad shoulders, but the only reason it stands out to me is because when I first met him, he transferred over from a rival school when we were in eighth grade. And when we went to ninth grade, I was a basketball star and I decided to play football, and he was a big football star. So when I was on the field, I didn't know jack squat about what was going on. He was beside me because of our last names, they made us line up in order. So, he was beside me telling me what to do: 'Spread out this way,' 'Open up this way,' because he was a receiver and I was just learning how to be a receiver. So I always remember the width of his shoulders. It was hard to get around him when he was going for the reception."
"A buddy of mine was planning this road trip and wanted to buy a van. He wanted to go from Boston down to Jacksonville. Jacksonville is a fairly horrible destination, like, the most, just bougie, like suburbia... Like, WHO ENDS UP IN JACKSONVILLE? But, anyway, we find this van in Baltimore so we decide to buy this van halfway through our road trip. We started in a Jetta, which, like, stuff doesn't fit in Jettas. Bought this van halfway through the road trip, but since we're in Baltimore and he was from Florida and I was from Jersey, he couldn't get the thing titled and registered anyway. 'Cause, like, Baltimore has this thing like, 'We want a police officer to sign off on the title' and all sorts of weird things, and Florida wants a notary. So we had to mail the paperwork out. We FedExed it overnight, trying to get it there, and he messes up everything. He ended up messing *that* up and had to leave Baltimore early... It was either we both leave Baltimore and leave the van or one person leaves and one person stays with the van. Since he was the one who needed to be in Jacksonville, I was the one who needed to be with the van. So I spent like three or four days in a van in a parking lot outside of Baltimore, cooking on, like, a camp stove, full-blown camping style. It was February, too, and it was *cold*! So, that whole time period was crazy--there were all these little random interactions with people wondering what I was doing, like 'What you cooking?' That was the big question I got asked the whole time, 'What you cooking?' I was just some weird guy sitting in the back of a Dodge van cooking spaghetti on a camping stove."
Watch out folks; he's got a camera...