Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To the DNC and Back

Look ma! I'm at the DNC!
I haven't even written a post during the entire month of September. It's probably because I was too overwhelmed writing for other blogs, like Hyphen and Muslims for Obama (you can click on the links to check out the articles)

But I can sum up the DNC in one word, it would be the word  'surreal'. Where else do you spend a week in a proverbial political bubble with an amazingly diverse group of super excited delegates, random celebrities, politicians and media figures? Just walking around like its no big thing. Plus I had a delegates pass which gave me VIP access through some pretty crazy demilitarized zone -type security.

Seriously...zombie apocalypse status
I am so grateful that I was able to experience it. It's strange, even a year ago, I would never have imagined that I would have gone to something like that. I didn't even know the process of getting into an event like that. My article in Hyphen pretty much outlined my excitement about being a California delegate to the convention, so I don't feel like repeating it. Instead, I will share my DNC experiences with you through a timeline mash up of my tweets, excited Facebook statuses and instragram photos. Yup, I was social media'ing up a storm...seriously, I took over everyones newsfeeds for a week..

And now I present to you Nadia's Official DNC Timeline!!

Day 1- Monday, Sept 3, 2012 

10:00am: Posing with my Delegates pass at the Cal Dems Breakfast!! 
I loved my poof

12:00pm: Then went to API caucus and got to meet some awesome API's running for Congress!

Left to Right: Tulsi Gabbard, the utterly badass Tammi Duckworth and Otto Lee

12:30pm: Ran into the Reverand Jesse Jackson

I didn't say hi though, just stalked him

1:00pm: Decided to stop by the Huffington Post Oasis, where Arianna Huffington showed me around and I did free yoga clothes..that I got to keep...also got free kalamata olives

Arianna Huffington, you da woman

10:00pm: Went to the APIA Vote party where I hung out with Congressman Mike Honda and the actor from Heroes
One of my goals in life is to sing karaoke with him
11:30pm: On my way out of the party I run into a John Legend does anyone run into a John Legend concert? Told you Charlotte was cray...

Such a talented artist! Absolutely amazing live!
12:00am: ended the night hanging out with delegates, when I discovered that my swag bag had a stuffed made my night

and I named him Roberto

Day 2- Tuesday, Sept 4, 2012 

10:00am: Moderated a Persecution of Religious Minorities Panel organized by the American Muslim Alliance with Muslim Congressman Andre Carson, members of the Sikh Community and other civil rights leaders. It was nuts, I didn't even know Congressman Carson would stop by! So glad he did though, he was awesome!

12:00pm: Hung out again at the Huffington Post Oasis with my delegate buddy, Aidan...I just couldn't stay away! They fed me for free and I got to watch Arianna Huffington interview world famous chef, Marcus Samuelsson.

Arianna Huffington is such a G
4:30pm-11pm: Finally got to the convention center to see Newark Mayor Cory Booker TEAR IT UP. Was inspired to name my future son Julian after San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro's speech, and ended the night with FLOTUS Michelle Obama's speech! We LOVED Michelle!


11:30pm: Off to the Planned Parenthood afterparty! Where I ran into Aisha Tyler and Ashley Judd.
I liked the theme of this party, go Planned Parenthood!

Day 3- Wednesday, Sept 4, 2012 

11:00am - It's my press day, but first I ran into Mayor Villaigaroisa at breakfast. The press thought I was his handler.

Should have just pretended to be his handler...VIP BABY!
11:30am- Waiting to board the shuttle when I run into this dude, outside the hotel texting

Yes, that is Kumar...I mean Kal Penn
12:30pm: Headed to the press hangout to be interviewed by Al Hurrah televison and radio. They broadcast me live in Dubai and the rest of the Arab speaking word answering questions about Muslims in America. It was nuts, especially becauseI was talking to an earpiece the whole time. Spent the rest of the day hanging out with journalists untill...

3:00pm: Just lost all of my notes at a Rite Aid somewhere, but it was SHOWTIME. Did my press briefing for the State Departments Foreign Press on Muslim Americans and Politics. Below is the video and here's the transcript.

Then I was all like "come at me bro!"(I think it's funny that I'm frozen in this pose on the State Dept. website)

4:00pm - 11pm: Got to the Convention Center, where I signed my ballot to vote for President Obama as our Presidential nominee!
I really was that proud ::sniff sniff::


oh snap

there I go again....HELL YEA it's our choice!
The night was insane. I got so fired up I actually accidentally tore up my "Fired Up" sign in half. Bill Clinton stole the show though, the energy was so electric and the crowd was so pumped up I thought that stadium would come crashing down!

11:30pm: California Delegation Afterparty at the Nascar Hall of Fame, where I hung out with some cool Muslim dudes

And broke it down Bhangra style with Sikh delegates

I'm sure there are some youtube videos out there somewhere
Then I went back to my hotel room and passed out with my DNC donkey stuffed animal

Day 4- Thursday, Sept 5, 2012

11:00am It was the last day, I was heartbroken, but there was still cool stuff to

The American Muslim Democratic Caucus with Congressman Keith Ellison, great group of inspirational Muslim leaders and delegates. Over 100 in all, up from just 24 in 2008!

This lady is related to Bill Clinton, and she had a sparkly hijab
3:00pm Then back to the convention center! Where Marc Anthony sang the National Anthem and I got very giddy.
Who needs J Lo?

Then I swayed to some James Taylor

(I wasn't even sure who James Taylor was...)

Then got interviewed by Voice of America, you can read the article and see the video here!

Please interview me more! I love attention! ;-)

Then I almost started crying because the FOO FIGHTERS PERFORMED! I've been wanting to see these dudes play live since High School! ::swoon::

I stifled every urge to scream at Dave Grohl to have my babies
The night was of course topped off by our very on POTUS. We went nuts, we went crazy! I don't have pictures of him talking because I was actually LISTENING instead of TWEETING..for once

So here's a stock picture of President Obama at the DNC =)
11:30 Alright speeches are done, now it was time to party GOOGLE style!

There were a ton of celebrities, here I am with Jared Leto. Olivia Wilde and Don Cheadle were also nearby

Jared Leto was sorta cold, probably cos I wasn't a skinny blonde haha!
And the photo of the night, me with Asif Mandvi and Kal Penn!! I wish I could pay them to hang out with day
We're best my head

And that was that folks, although the next morning I did end up talking to famed labor activist Dolores Huerta and ended up hanging out with her in a line for a soul food restaurant

This lady is active and kick butt!
It turns out a bunch of celebrities were staying in the California Delegation hotel, so I saw Zach Braff grab coffee and waved hello to Rosario Dawson in an elevator..but I decided to not stalk them for pictures

I was in a daze, part of me still doesn't believe all of this happened, and that so many of you made sure that I even got there, with your votes, your donations and your time. I had friends from across town,  across the country and across the world help me prepare me for my press briefing, The lovely ladies of Retrofit Republic helped me to put together the fly outfits you see me rocking in the pictures. 

When I was in Charlotte,  I couldn't believe the hundreds of likes, excited comments and encouraging words I received through Facebook, Twitter and texts. It was overwhelming and amazing, I really felt that in some way, I was able to take my friends with me on this journey. The positive feedback, pure love and pride that my friends showed me from all over just makes me breathless...and yes even speechless.

but you know that won't last,  I'll never shut up ;-)

So on to the next adventure!! Can't wait to take you all with me!