Friday, August 31, 2012

Onward to Charlotte!!

I'm there!!!
I've been so busy blogging for other sites that I've hardly had the time to write on my own. You can read the recent articles below that I posted as the South Asian Political Blogger for Hyphen magazine:
But what I LOVE about blogging here is I can just be me, writing about what I want, when I want. My writing may be sappy, unfocused, repetitive and include too many exclamation points, but hey that's me!

And me, myself and I will be headed to Charlotte, North Carolina this Sunday for the Superbowl of Democratic politics, the 2012 Democratic National Convention. As the day grows nearer I just get more and more excited, so excited in fact that I actually went shopping just for the convention. Hey a lady's got some swag to maintain...

The heels compliment my Napoleon complex
All kidding aside, I can't wait for this experience. I know that when I will be on the convention floor, watching President Obama present his big speech, I will recall how 4 years ago at that exact moment, I was sitting in an African American hair salon with a group of strangers and my dear friend Chris Haines to watch Obama's speech as he accepted the  official nomination for President. That was an awesome DNC watch party filled with cupcakes and new friends, who didn't hesitate to give up their salon chairs for me.

And before that, I recall my father watching the conventions. He was always into politics though he wasn't really an activist. I remember watching Bill Clinton being on stage with confetti everywhere, and people screaming with crazy hats, all in red white and blue. I remember thinking "wow, what a party and how does someone get invited to that".

Partaaaay! Can't wait to make DNC confetti angels
So here I am, not just invited, but an elected district level delegate. I want to thank my friend and fellow CA District 13 delegate, Igor Tregub for personally calling me and pushing me to run. I would never had done it if it weren't for his call!

Yet being elected as delegate was just the first step, I still needed to raise over $1500 dollars so that I could go. No money, no Charlotte. Amazingly, I was able to raise that amount in under two months. And it was all because of my friends and loved ones, they gave without hesitation. I think I am still in awe of it all. Thank to all of them! I got invited to the game, but they were the ones who made sure that I showed up.

Speaking of support, some of my biggest supporters were the family members of my friend Travis, whom I've mentioned on this blog many times. He was in the military and was killed in Afghanistan only 3 months ago. He was excited when I told him that I would be a delegate, and here I am, finally on my way there and I cannot share it with him as I had planned to do.

But I am sharing it with his wonderful family. His parents covered my plane ticket and his relatives further supported me by giving even more money...just amazing.

I will never forget
I will be wearing these dog tags in honor of Travis for the entire time at convention. I do hope people ask me about him, I want to share his story and his impact on my life. Thanks again to his family for sending me the tags. Travis may not be there in person, but he's there, I'm bringing him with me! This is one of many reasons why this convention means so much to me. it may be a big political prep rally and yes Obama is a shoe-in for the democratic nomination, but it is an opportunity and experience of a lifetime.

I will be attending a ton of cool meetings, and will be moderating a panel for the American Muslim Alliance, whose leader Dr. Agha Saeed has already given me a wealth of information on political organizing and Muslim Civic engagement history. The AMA hospitality suite will address the problems plaguing Muslim and Muslim perceived communities in the US, in particular addressing the troubling implications of the civil rights defying National Defense and Authorization Act.

got civil rights?
Outside of the many meetings, I was also invited by the State Dept to present a briefing to foreign journalists regarding my journey as a delegate and to discuss and answer questions regarding Muslim American participation in the United States. They read my article on Hyphen and asked me to speak. I am so honored and excited to this, I have never done a press conference, especially as the only one speaking! To top it off the State Dept will be recording the session to send to all of their foreign embassies. Talk about pressure, but you know I love it because they want me to talk after all!

I hope to blog from Charlotte, if not I will be tweeting my thumbs off ...and taking photos (of course).

But before I go I want to say another thanks. I want to thank my parents for instilling a deep love for my fellow human beings - my political involvement and interest came from that. They are currently in the middle of Pennsylvania, in a tucked away little city, but I am so glad that they can watch the convention on TV and know that their daughter, the daughter of Bangladeshi Muslim immigrant parents, is out there representing.

Abbu and Mamoni, your baby's going to the DNC!
And you all made it possible, so thank you and I can't wait to tweet you all a picture of me giving the President a bear hug, before I am promptly tackled by the secret service (calm down Homeland Security, that was a joke).

See you in Charlotte!



  1. Teeheeheee, that's the pic I've been using as your caller id picture :P and confetti angels, Yaaayyy!!
    More post related: have fun, I'm sure you'll rock the party! I hope they televise your stuff!

  2. Nadia, I can't wait to hear about your trip. We watched every night hoping to catch a glimpse of you!

    (Travis's mom)


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