Miami's Acceptance Of Syrian Immigrant Inspires Verse

May 20, 2013

We’ve asked a few of the authors of standout poems for our That’s So Miami project to explain the inspiration behind their work. Find the winners of our contest and more entries here.

Black and white

Chinese and Cuban

Who would’ve thought

My bestfriend would be Russian?

That’s so Miami.

I came from Syria three years ago, and I was astonished by the dash of diversity that I saw here in Miami. As a Muslim girl wearing the hijab, I entered public high school hesitantly, worried about discrimination and bigotry from classmates. What do you know? Two other students in my school wore the hijab – and soon we had started a club named Muslim Student Union & Cultures.

When most people think Miami, they think parties, clubs and music festivals. When I hear Miami, I think different people, different colors, different cultures, all in one centralized city.

With the Muslim Student Union, we worked to bring to together two very successful school events. Students joined like crazy, and I was elected the group’s president for the upcoming year.

In addition, I was a Student Voices panelist. In Student Voices, a group of a half dozen students would go to freshmen classes and talk about diversity and discrimination. I was even invited as a guest speaker to a University of Miami Peace Summit.

Finally, I am currently coordinating a “Syrian Survival Drive” in many Miami-Dade schools and religious centers to help send relief to Syrian Refugees around the world whose numbers top the one million mark.

I love Miami, and I love the people in Miami. The chance to meet someone from a different background every single day is astounding. And so is Miami.