Every individual has a special story to tell. It entails with our individual purpose in life and certainly an example for the world to notice. We can take inspiration and charge forward with our own purpose because every life here has a credible purpose.
The 8th of March is officially celebrated as International Women’s Day. On this particular day, we take the leap to honor the great women who are working with their individual efforts, no matter how big or small to make this world a better place.
In a world dominated by men in major sectors, seeing women who are continually surging in with their incredible efforts to make a name for, themselves and being exemplary for other women out there is really needed. Look around you and count all the great women who make life worthwhile – it can be your mother, sister, wife, girlfriend, maid or anyone, irrespective of their relation to you.
International Women’s Day is specially dedicated to these women. Similarly, we were approached by a girl who managed to share inspiring stories of different women around her on Women’s day.
Muqu Javad, a girl who compiled stories of different women about their lives, careers, roles in the society and every bit of their conduct that stands as an inspiration.
She writes, “On this Women’s Day, I want to celebrate all the wonderful, fierce, strong women I know. I have been working on this series for a while with the hopes of showing how we, as women, are strong, resilient and beautiful (in more ways than what meets the eye). As a photographer, I wanted to capture these women and their stories, and I wanted to show how despite us being so different, we are all alike. We all come together to make up the fabric of America. We contribute to this society by making it better. We call this place our home, yet we are citizens of the world. We work towards the betterment of ourselves, our families, our kids and for our country. We are powerful, strong, resilient, fierce, and lastly, we are beautiful. We are unapologetically she.”
Read the stories below, as each and every one of it is special.
I believe that I am a product of all the hard work that my parents have put in to get me where I am today. But another factor that has shaped me almost as much has been moving to America. All of the experiences and life lessons I have gained here have made me a more caring, hard working and driven person. America is my home and I want to work every day to give back and make it better as it has done for me. – Inkisar
I am made whole by the women who’ve come before me: my grandmother who endured, my mother who persisted, my aunt who resisted. I am made whole by the women in my life—and those who have touched my life—who have wept, screamed, and fought back, consistently and endlessly. My black, Latina, queer, trans, and disabled sisters—all compose the fibers of my being; they are what makes me wholly woman. My strength, my voice, my power, my body, my resistance stands on the shoulders of these women, who constitute the frame of my house of empowerment in which I reside. Without them, I am fractured. With them, I am whole. Because of them, I still grow. – Bruna
As an immigrant, a mom and an educator, I recognize that education is a privilege that allows one to transcend the limitations of societal, economic and racial boundaries. My objective is to provide my students with an experience that maximizes learning, discovery, and growth within a connected school community. My hope that by creating this community, I enable the adults of tomorrow to maximize their potential as morally upright, contributing members of a global populace. – Sana
If one were to consider technicalities, being born in the United States and holding a blue passport would be enough to classify me as an American. However, the essence of being an American holds a much deeper meaning for me. Being American means to be able to practice the values of hard work and determination instilled in me by my parents who uplifted their lives in Pakistan to provide me with better opportunities; a better future.
To me, being an American allows me to be the strong, independent individual I was raised to be. Someone who can practice her beliefs, defend her opinions no matter how controversial or bold they are, and be able to move freely in this society. Someone who can achieve anything by putting my heart and soul into it. Being American allows me to live a life that fuses two distinct yet equally admirable cultures; eastern and western. Being an American means owning my identity and doing it so proudly no matter how much someone in the white house would like to convince us otherwise. Last but not least, I am an American because this is my home; this is where I grew up to be the person I am. This is where my family is and this is where my life is. – Maliha
For most of my life, I’ve felt a little bit awkward, a square peg in a round hole. But I always had this idea of a place where I could be myself in all my eccentric glory and thrive. In moving to America I found that place. In my career as a software engineer, I was able to combine my passion for technology and a lifelong love of learning that has served me well. In my personal life, I have made empowered choices that have enabled me to continue the pursuit of my dreams. I am a born optimist who feels deeply and has big audacious dreams. I strive for a future which is ever more equal than the present. I want to combine my skills in technology with my desire to make the world a better place. That is my American dream. – Farah
Growing up, there were several women in my life who I believe helped shape me into who I am today. My Aunt, currently a CEO of a transportation firm in LA, who kept taking her boss’s jobs, was one of my biggest role models growing up. While I had a stay at home mom who taught me strength in more ways than I can count, seeing the other side and being exposed to a number of professional, strong women who I watched move up regardless of her background or gender, inspired me to achieve more since I was a little girl. Or the woman, my neighbor, who encouraged me to play softball at a young age, who would become my softball coach for several years, who taught me how to ski, who helped me get my first college internship for the Department of Defense where she held a high rank, was also someone I completely admired and who became a role model near and dear to my heart.
There is no equivalent to the demands of a stay at home mom, as I watched with my own mom, but being able to see another side with women I was personally close to and watch them achieve so much with great strength, knocking down barriers left and right, shaped my desire to do more. As a woman who has always had to check the “Other” box being multi-racial, it was crucial having role model seeing women like these succeed. With that, I thank my mom, and these two strong and successful women for who I am today, for the strength I now work to instill with my own two daughters in teaching them they can do and be anything they want, without limits. – Tanya
My family immigrated to the US when I was only 6 years old. This country has been home to me for as long as I can remember. What makes a place home? Home is where you’ve had the chance to celebrate birthdays, make new family traditions, and feel safe. For me, the United States is this and so much more. Last summer, my family went to visit Pakistan. It was so hard for me to call a country I was born in the home. It made me realize that the two things that the media continuously tries to use to define immigrants (religion and nationality) are things that I could not have determined as a 6-year-old, but that I am so proud to be regardless. I’m so proud to live in a country where I’ve always felt safe, where I can love the holiday season as much as I love Ramadan, where my closest friends are from cultures and countries around the world, and where I don’t need a male chaperone. My parents worked very hard for 12+ years to obtain permanent residency of this country. I remember a time when our immigration lawyer claimed that my mom knew more about the immigration system than any lawyer and a time when the first dua (prayer) to escape my lips was always for our green cards to arrive in the mail. My parents have worked so hard to make sure my sisters and I would have the chance to attend the best Universities, live in a country where women have rights and independence, learn to incorporate our religious values into our daily lives, and have everything that they always wished for as kids. Where my parents came from and where we are now… it’s a world of a difference, to say the least. Every day, I count my blessings that my parents wanted the best for us and that I was blessed with such loving, generous, open-minded, driven and caring parents. Thus ultimately, all my goals in life (in one way or another) revolve around my hopes to keep my parents proud, happy, and healthy. – Aania
I immigrated to the United States from Russia when I was a child. Though I’ve been an American citizen for many years now, the recent tide of anti-immigrant sentiment has definitely hit home, spurring fears I’ve never had before. But I take solace in the values of my friends, my community, my city. To us, being an American is practicing inclusion, compassion, and respecting individual autonomy. Now is a time of crucial self-reflection and critical thinking, of figuring out how to be an informed, active citizen. If nothing else, this tumultuous time is really helping me fine-tune my moral compass. – Ilona
Art, for me, is simultaneously an escape and a way to concentrate/make sense of my grief and frustrations. I’ve been really into figure art recently, primarily simplistic images of women’s bodies in black paint or ink. I think they symbolize our shared humanity; nobody knows this woman’s skin color, where she lives, where she was born, what she believes, or who she loves. It’s a reminder that we all have the same guts and bones and, largely, the same desires. We all seek health, happiness, and acceptance, and those are not privileges or luxuries – they are rights. I am proud that these values are written in our country’s constitution, and that when they are threatened, there are millions of us who stand up and scream. – Emily
Reading has always been my favorite activity and escape. Dystopian literature and fantasy are my favorite genres because even in the most horrible imaginings of the future, there are always groups of individuals who fight and rebel, usually at great personal risk. I really believe that the instinct to protect each other is a natural human urge that a lot of us are taught to suppress because it can be painful to reconcile another’s suffering from the knowledge that we have never or will never experience that kind of suffering.
One of the things I love so much about books is that you experience the world through someone else’s perspective and live in someone else’s brain. That kind of exposure to alternative circumstance is important to true cooperation and coexistence.
I think the whole idea of “the melting pot” is probably what makes me most proud to be an American. We are a country full of individuals with very different histories, life experiences, and perceptions of reality. And yet, when we live side by side and learn to appreciate each other for our similarities as well as our differences, truly beautiful things can happen. It’s a challenging ideal to live up to and we certainly have a long way to go, but it’s something worth fighting for.- Karin
I’m lucky enough to know many kinds, accepting, and inclusive Americans; those people make me proud to be from the United States. – Emma
Pieces of Me-Ah
Prep time: 26 years
Ingredients: I am the descent of slaves who’s blood built this country. The granddaughter of a woman who migrated west for better opportunities for her family. The daughter of an ex-soldier who fought for America’s freedoms. The friend of marginalized groups who continue to challenge systems of oppression in order to create equity. These are all parts of me. My past and my present make me who I am. I am independent, I am strong, I am a woman, I am Black, I am American. I use writing to free my mind as well as yours. I am American, but above that, I am a citizen of the world – Mia
I strive for a nation where every person is safe to be who they are. I long for a country where structural violence and institutional oppression are not the foundations of the State. I do not consider myself a proud American, but I am a citizen of this nation state. So, it is my responsibility as an American to question the society and norms we have been given in this hierarchical, capitalist system. As a child, I was made to understand that my body was not my own, that so many people’s complex, beautiful, intersectional bodies are not their own. Fighting this notion motivates me to demand a different reality for the United States. I refuse to be less American because I am a survivor of sexual assault, and I refuse to be less American because I am queer. And I refuse a nation where people are made to feel less American because of their race, gender, class, immigration status, ability, religion, country of origin, sexual orientation, or any other aspect of their identity. This country has sustained itself on genocide, exploitation, and fear of the other; but I am hopeful that so many Americans refuse to accept this. – Laura
Though difficult at times, I strive to be inspired, rather than intimidated, by information and ideas that I do not yet fully understand. The lessons I find most valuable have, more often than not, stemmed from people or situations that challenged my comfort level or forced me to pivot my way of thinking. When we seek out ideas different from our own, when we ask questions, when we listen intently – that is when we truly advance. As Americans, it seems we crave improvement – How can we do this faster? Make that better? Reach more people? While we each may have different theories on how to answer those questions, our ability to make an impact grows exponentially when we collaborate. I am proud to live in a nation that rarely remains stagnant, even if that means a few challenges (better yet – learning opportunities) along the way. – Dani
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. -Muhammad Ali
As a global citizen, born and raised in the US with Pakistani roots, I believe it’s my responsibility to be of service to individuals locally and globally. I strive to do this by doing my best in everything that I do. This country has provided me with the education and opportunities that have shaped me into who I am today. I am proud to call this country, the land of the free and home of the brave immigrants, my home. – Ayesha