Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Aya story

Am I doing Aya more harm than good? Telling her story

Karim A. Badra and Reine Azzi shared this link Humans of New York

Yesterday was a “rest day” for me. It’s been an emotional week. Telling Aya’s story was tough enough.

But the hardest part for me was watching a traumatized young woman release her story into a world that’s becoming more and more afraid of her with each passing day.

It was such an act of courage for Aya to tell her story in this climate. And as I read some of the comments on her story, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was doing her more harm than good.

There is so much fear in the world right now.

And politicians know that they must win the votes of frightened people.

And with their rhetoric, they are condoning prejudice in a way that I’ve never seen in my lifetime.

Since September 11th, 45 people have been killed in the United States by supposed Islamic extremists. This includes the recent attacks in California.

Even though these attacks were carried out by only a handful of violent individuals, they are being used as a license to vilify millions of Americans. That is wrong and that is dangerous.

And Aya, who is one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known, had to absorb a good deal of that hatred this week.

I’m sure this added to the trauma she’s already been through. But every step of the way I gave her the option to stop telling her story. And at every step, she gave me permission to continue. And I thank her for that.

And I want to thank all of you.

Because I noticed something this week. I noticed that the comments on Aya’s story always began very positively.

But as some of the posts were shared thousands of times, and began to reach newsfeeds beyond the HONY community, the tone of comments deteriorated.

They became much more judgmental and prejudiced.

And that made me realize how special this community is. The people who follow this page did something very important this week.

You allowed a traumatized young Muslim woman to share her story in a supportive environment.

There aren’t many places right now where that is possible. So in your own way, you provided Aya with a place of refuge.

And thanks to everyone who stood up this week to tell Aya: “I’m not afraid of you.”

For anyone who still wishes to sign Aya’s petition, you may do so here:




May 2023

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