On the 17th Anniversary of 9/11: A Survivor’s Call for Unity

Like most Americans, each September 11th, I reflect on how much our country lost that day; the thousands of lives shockingly, and suddenly taken; and how quickly fellow comrades rushed to aid victims. That fateful day, seventeen years ago, brought out the best in our fellow citizens, but tragically, also revealed the worst. On this September 11th, ironically perhaps, I will be lying in the hospital as my doctors perform sinus surgery, my second in… Read More

Walking for Water: My Ramadan Reminder

During my recent visit to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, a simple, but extraordinarily powerful exhibit depicting the distances that millions go through every day for clean water, touched me deeply. A one gallon (4 liter) bucket sat on the floor, next to it, a loop of bare footprints, and a sign reading, “What is it like to walk for water?” Millions of people around the world walk three or more miles just to… Read More

Coming from peace: An open letter to Donald Trump

Coming from peace: An open letter to Donald Trump Dear Mr. Trump, My name is Rais Bhuiyan. I am an American Muslim and survivor of a violent post 9/11 hate crime. I deplore the acts of violence and hatred that are wrongly performed in the name of my religion, they do not represent me or my beliefs, and they do not reflect the lessons taught in the Qur’an. I also denounce all manifestations of hateful acts and rhetoric.… Read More

Orlando: I am with you

The recent tragic event in Orlando, FL is truly barbaric, despicable, and an act of pure evil. I am speechless. I am beyond shocked. It has been extremely difficult to find the right words to express how tremendously devastating this terrible hate crime truly is. I can only speak from my heart; as an American, a Muslim, a peace activist and human rights advocate, and as a hate crime survivor myself. From my experience, I know at this… Read More

David’s Story

David’s Story In 2010, when I was well on the road to getting my life back together, I moved into an attractive apartment complex in Dallas. I wanted to be polite to my new neighbors in the fashion of my culture, so I made Bangladeshi rice pudding for everyone in my building. I put the dessert in containers and went door to door to introduce myself and present my gift. Most people accepted it graciously,… Read More