Someone on Quora asked, “What is one moment in your life you thought could only happen in a movie?” and one of the answers, by Kevin Walsh, was especially astonishing and romantic. “I can’t not answer this,” he wrote.
“Once upon a time I was 13 at a summer camp and the prettiest girl I’d ever seen walked right up to me and said ‘black is a good color on you.’ No idea why,” he wrote. “We chatted and became friends, exchanged AIM screen names (it was the time) and stayed in touch for a while.”
“We fell off each others’ radar some time in high school, but I can promise you that not a day went by that I didn’t think about that girl. Even now I’m not sure I can say why – something about her just stayed with me.”
“In my senior year I went through some dumb high school stuff that seemed earth-shattering at the time, and fell hard into depression,” he continued. “I resolved to take my own life, wrote a note and went to where I planned to end things.”
“Somewhere between 5 and 10 seconds before I would have committed suicide, my phone rang. I checked the caller ID – I couldn’t die not knowing. It was a number I didn’t recognize, so I picked up and it was her.”
“I asked her what was up and she said she just felt like she had to call me. At that point it had been a year since we had spoken, and at that moment she just had to call. Long story short, she pried, I spilled the beans and she talked me out of it. I mean she literally said ‘What? Don’t do that’ And that was that.”
“She made me promise to call her the next day, and we hung up. That night I started writing the words which, ten years later, I’d propose with,” he said.
Walsh told Buzzfeed that talking to someone about his suicidal thoughts helped him. “There is power in saying it out loud. There’s a good chance that the moment it comes out of your mouth you’ll realize it isn’t what you want at all,” said Walsh.
Monalisa Perez, a vlogger from Minnesota, was arrested this past Monday, June 26th, after fatally shooting her boyfriend, 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz, while filming a stunt for their YouTube channel. She was charged with second-degree manslaughter, a crime which carries the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $ 20,000, or both. By all accounts, it seems the shooting was an accident and that Ruiz actually helped plan it.
Perez called 911 Monday evening and told authorities she had accidentally shot her boyfriend. The police responded to the couple’s house in Norman County and found Ruiz with a single gunshot wound to the chest. They attempted to save the young man, but he died on the scene.
Perez, who happens to be pregnant, says Ruiz was excited by the idea of her shooting a book while he was holding it. He believed the book would stop the bullet, and may have even tested his theory on several other books. This time, however, the bullet did not stop. Earlier that same night, Perez tweeted about the upcoming segment:
Perez started the couple’s YouTube vlog in March to record the lives of a young couple who are also teen parents. Since then, they’ve uploaded several videos which often feature “stunts,” “challenges,” and “pranks.” The couple’s 3-year-old daughter also occasionally makes an appearance.
Here’s one of Perez’s videos:
The couple recorded their fatal stunt on two cameras which are now being held as evidence by the police. Perez told authorities that, after being shown another book which a bullet had failed to go through, she agreed to shoot from a foot away while Ruiz held the book to his chest. She used a .50-caliber Desert Eagle firearm.
Ruiz’s aunt, Claudia, heard about the stunt idea from Pedro and begged he not go through with it. She’s especially broken-hearted by how things have turned out:
“They were in love, they loved each other. It was just a prank gone wrong. It shouldn’t have happened like this. It shouldn’t have happened at all.”
In their final video, Perez said she was 25-weeks pregnant and looking forward to raising another child with Ruiz. They were planning to name the little boy Pedro, after his father.
“We designed it completely from scratch. It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation and the magnetosphere of the earth,” he told Business Standard.
Shaarook named the little tech-wonder after India’s science-loving former President Abdul Kalam. He calls it KalamSat.
Minnesota Teen Wins Battle To Box While Wearing Her Hijab
By Mustafa Gatollari
2 hours ago
If I was a Muslim woman, I probably wouldn’t wear a hijab. That doesn’t mean I have anything against headscarves; if someone wants to wear one, then more power to them. I think hijabis have proven that wearing one doesn’t hinder their abilities from being a top-level competitive athlete.
Take Ibtihaj Muhammad, for example.
Or Kubra Dagli, a Tae Kwon Do bad-ass who opts to wear a hijab, even during competitions.
With more and more female hijabi athletes getting exposure, brands are responding to suit their needs. Nike, for example, has created a “Pro Hijab,” a specially designed head-covering that’s better suited to athletic tasks.
When it comes to the world of fencing and Tae Kwon Do, a headscarf may seem out of place, but not so much as a sport like, let’s say, boxing. Where competitors usually wear shorts and tank tops to compete.
Which is why 16-year-old Amaiya Zafar is counting it as a victory that she’ll be able to officially box wearing long-sleeves and leggings.
She was previously barred from competing in boxing matches under USA Boxing’s regulations on wearing religious coverings in competition. However, the Council of American Islamic Relations recently announced that an exemption was made in the case of Zafar, and will probably set a precedent for other aspiring hijabi female boxers in the future.
“She’s put a lot of labor into this. She earned the right to showcase her skills, and I’m happy for her. But it’s just the first step in letting her achieve her dreams.”
For Zafar, this is the first step in establishing her career as a professional fighter.
Her inaugural match will be held on April 29th at the Spring Fling Amateur Boxing Tournament in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“I’m ready. You get so invested. My weight is in the right place. My head is in the game.”
Competing in the Olympics while wearing a hijab, however, is a whole other obstacle Zafar will have to face.
She plans on competing in the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo, however the International Boxing Association has yet to lift its ban on allowing competitors to wear religious attire in matches. USA Boxing is a different regulatory body entirely. In fact, it’s the AIBA that is in charge of governing internationally conducted matches.
CAIR, an Islamic rights organization, is assisting Zafar in getting an exemption to wear her scarf, long-sleeves, and leggings should she make the Olympic team.
“We welcome this partial victory and look forward to the day when athletes of all faiths may compete nationally and internationally while maintaining their religious principles,” Ibrahim Cooper, from CAIR, said.
Even though Zafar could be getting ahead of herself (she hasn’t fought her first match yet), her coach says that she’s already inspired tons of other young, female Muslim athletes.
Muslim Teen Told Dad She Wants To Take Off Her Hijab, And His Response Is Powerful
By Mustafa Gatollari
7 hours ago
When it comes to strictly religious societies, there’s a lot of shame and gossip that goes around. I wouldn’t say it’s the norm from the communities I grew up in. Most people just minded their business, went to the mosque, and did their own thing.
There were a few Judgey McJudgersons who kind of ruined it for everybody else, but for the most part, people were able to do what they want without much backlash from their families or community. Hell, I’ve gone pretty much full rogue and have managed to keep all of my Muslim friends and family members. My wife also used to wear hijab and has long since removed it and, with the exception of a few people who think it’s their place to call her out on it (when I’m not around, I might add) nothing’s really changed in her life.
But that’s not to say there aren’t still Islamic countries and communities that use the hijab as an excuse to control women. But to assume that the only reason a woman would wear hijab is due to her family forcing her to wear it, is pretty darn insulting to the woman wearing it.
Which is exactly what happened to 17-year-old Lamyaa from Pennsylvania, who’s all but accustomed to receiving harassment online for being Muslim.
Lamyaa:Baba, I want to tell you something. Lamyaa’s father:Talk to me[asks her if she’s OK in Arabic] Lamyaa:Yeah I’m okay. I was thinking. I want to take my hijab off. Lamyaa’s father:Sweetheart that’s not my decision to make. That’s no man’s decision to make. If it’s what you feel like you want to do, go ahead. I’ll support you no matter what. Is everything okay? Did something happen?
After Lamyaa posted her conversation online, it’s received over 140,000 retweets and more than 300,000 likes.
“People believe that Islam is misogynistic, hateful, or violent, and I think that stems from their inability to differentiate culture and religion. Islam is a religion and, like all religions, it is what you bring to it.”
Lamyaa also pointed out that she wasn’t trying to say that there aren’t Muslim women who are forced into wearing hijab – because there are.
But she wanted to point out that there are tons of Muslim women, like Lamyaa, who wear the Hijab because they choose to, and to assume that they’re being forced into it is dismantling their agency as women, based solely on their religion. (h/t upworthy)
Muslim Teen Writes About Black Lives Matter In College App, Gets Into Stanford
By Mustafa Gatollari
1 hour ago
I don’t remember what I wrote for my college applications, but it was definitely a handwritten mess. I recapped the plot to Fight Club, talking about the plot of the book like it was the most revelatory thing that’s ever been written in the modern era.
Sure, Brad Pitt’s obliques had a lot to do with why I’d initially become so obsessed with Chuck Palahniuk’s book in the first place, and I kind of cringe when I look back at what I was obsessed with back then as an angsty teen, clinging to anything that could be viewed as “edgy.” But as stupid as that essay was, I do remember writing it with a lot of feeling. As deluded as I was when I wrote it, I definitely believed in what I was doing.
I guess I thought I was making some kind of grand political statement that ended up not paying off. Like, at all. The truth was, I wasn’t really all that excited to go to college, mainly because I was put off by how expensive it was. I also didn’t want to settle for a school that wasn’t my first choice. There are times, however, where I wonder what would’ve happened had I gotten accepted to Yale, or if I never attended college at all.
But this teen’s risky college statement to Stanford, which asked the question, “What matters to you, and why?” paid off in a huge way.
Ziad Ahmed, a high school senior at Princeton Day School, decided that he would extend his passion for activism into every aspect of his life, including his college applications. While most students would fold under the pressure and probably submit another McEssay that highlights a story about a time they did something meaningful (and a chance to rattle off how amazing they are), Ziad demonstrated his amazingness by taking a huge risk and showing how seriously he takes his activism.
“I was actually stunned when I opened the update and saw that I was admitted,” Ziad said in an interview with Mic.
“I didn’t think I would get admitted to Stanford at all, but it’s quite refreshing to see that they view my unapologetic activism as an asset rather than a liability.”
Ziad received tons of praise from other notable Muslim activists and his tweet has been liked over 5,000 times.
The young student went on to say that his Muslim faith compels him to be a social activist, and that turning a blind eye to the issues that African-Americans face on a daily basis goes against his religious upbringing.
“To me, to be Muslim is to be a BLM ally, and I honestly can’t imagine it being any other way for me. Furthermore, it’s critical to realize that one-fourth to one-third of the Muslim community in America are black … and to separate justice for Muslims from justices for the black community is to erase the realities of the plurality of our community.”
If Ziad looks familiar, it’s because the 18-year-old has already been acknowledged on a National level for all of his activism.
He’s given a TedxTalk about the stereotypes Muslim teens face, was invited to the White House’s Iftar Dinner, was put in charge of Martin O’Malley’s youth presidential campaign, and worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as an intern. Not to mention, he’s already founded two youth organizations and has been accepted to Princeton and Yale, in addition to Stanford.
Last week, a tweet by 17-year-old Jamal Hinton of Mesa, Arizona, went viral after he received an accidental text from someone else’s grandma. The teen was accidentally added to a Thanksgiving family group chat started by Wanda Dench, who had intended to add her own grandson but got the number wrong.
Dench didn’t know she’d got the number wrong until Hinton asked for a selfie to see if his own grandma had just got a new phone.
A tweet by Hinton, sharing the hilarious exchange, quickly went viral and acquired more than 200,000 retweets.
Dench told ABC 15 that Hinton had indeed come over for Thanksgiving dinner, and that it was destiny that the two meet. “This wasn’t me, it’s come from God above. He’s just using us as his tools and vessels to bring a message to others.”
Labor Day is typically Summer’s last stand. It’s a 3 day weekend for most, which means we have 3 nights and 2 days to go out and enjoy ourselves, with one full day to recover before tackling a shortened work/school week.
A few people out in Louisville, Kentucky opted to spend their Labor Day weekend differently. Fourteen year old LaRon Tunstill, better known as RonRon locally, was taking part in a barbecue set up by PurpMe (People Uplifting Real People) to feed the homeless, when he noticed a gentleman walking along the side of their spread.
He sparked a conversation with the man, and while they were talking, saw the tattered pair of shoes he was wearing. Jason Reynolds, the founder of PurpMe, saw the shoes. “The soles were completely gone. His toes literally touched the ground.”
RonRon immediately took off his brand new Nike Air Jordans and gave them to the man, who was reluctant to accept them at first. “At first he was like ‘no, I can’t take these because these are too expensive.’ I told him, ‘take it’ because it’s what God wanted me to do.” RonRon told WAVE.
Reynolds, still in awe of the exchange, spoke:
“It was life-changing to see that powerful moment, Just a year before, he (Tunstill) was getting into trouble and now you see that he’s changing. He used to get in a lot of trouble when I first met him.”
After RonRon’s gift, Reynolds started a GoFundMe page where 100% of the donations would go to helping children in the area.
“I always tell the kids one simple act is all it takes. Maybe you can’t change the world but you can change someone’s world.”