“The Champ taught us that the most important thing in life is to be ourselves.” —@POTUS on Muhammad Ali https://t.co/UvQhVfxD61— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 21, 2016
Yep! Thats me in the White House video (link above) in the second row cheering loudly for #MuhammedAli while trying to control my excitement about meeting the President at last. For some people, it isn’t a big deal, but for me, it was and still is a huge deal that I met President Obama up close and personal, and he spoke with me. You see, this life is full of struggles and hustles, and a little high here and there is always helpful to help refuel our tank so we can keep going.
I was privileged to attend the President’s inaugural ball in January 2013, but there were almost 15,000 other guests at the convention center that day, so meeting him was not even a possibility. My next attempt was in 2014, when I was invited to be a part of the planning meeting for the US-Africa Leaders summit. I was excited about being in the White House for the first time, but a little heart broken that we could only enter the Eisenhower executive office building and their was no POTUS. So you can imagine my excitement when I got an invitation to the first ever White House Eid party (the White House always hosted an annual iftar dinner during Ramadan, but this year an Eid party was hosted for the first time.) Not only was this a dream come true because I had bought my dress with the intention of wearing it to a party at the White House since 2014 even though I didn’t know how I would get invited to one, it was huge because I knew the president would attend and the party was being held inside the East Wing of the White House. I mean, we were going inside the first family’s house!
It was an exciting time yesterday, proof that God listens to every prayer, and a chance to meet so many amazing Muslim-Americans doing wonderful work across the country. The gathering shattered the myth that Muslim Americans don’t contribute positively to the USA. I saw and spoke with people blazing trails, saw Thomas Jefferson’s Quran, and heard from the President how African slaves were mostly Muslims. Most importantly, it was what I needed to see so I can organize folks even harder so that the evil hater of all things that define me: a Black Immigrant Muslim American Woman doesn’t set foot in the beautiful White House ever! More photos on my Facebook Page.