The occupation of Palestine by Israel resulted in decades of bloodshed and tens of thousands of deaths on both sides. Since 2000 alone, more than 1,200 Israelis and nearly 10,000 Palestinians have died as a result of this political conflict.
While it is saddening to see such needless brutality, some of us were able to escape the fate of trying to survive in an unstable, deadly warzone in search of a better life, and my family was among them.
Coming to America
Not everyone was as fortunate as my family. My father was from the Alami family: A leading Arab family in Jerusalem that claimed direct descent from Hasan, a grandson of the prophet Muhammad. The Alami ancestors played a prominent role in the civil and religious life of Jerusalem during the centuries of conflict in expelling the Crusaders from Palestine and Lebanon.
My mother descended from the Dajani family. The prominent Dajani family is deeply rooted in the history of Palestine especially in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Originally from the heartland of the Arabian Peninsula. In Jerusalem, the family was entrusted by the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent as the Custodian’s of Prophet David’s Mausoleum at the Mount of Prophet David.
Both families established some of the first universities, trade routes, civil infrastructure, law, medical advancements, and were some of the most regarded spiritual/religious leaders throughout the Middle East.
Because of their connections to 12 noble families who were direct descendants from Middle East prophets/leaders with nearly 1,400-year documented lineage, the men of our family were put on the Mayflower ship granted scholarships to be part of the industrial revolution in America.
My family immigrated to Colorado and despite being conservative Palestinian Muslims who struggled to assimilate to America’s cultural differences, were a part of countless infrastructure projects – including the Eisenhower tunnel in Colorado, the world’s highest vehicular tunnel.
My family immigrated there to seek refuge and live outside of the occupation of their homeland and to give their unborn children a chance to thrive outside of a corrupt political ploy that promotes ethnic cleansing by convincing the people of Palestine (who, ironically, are cousins) to see each other as different leading to yet another hated-into-hatred cycle.
I grew up as a first-generation Palestinian Muslim American girl in a noble family – the eldest of four children – and sometimes struggled with being targeted as the only Muslim in school. Still, I thrived in my academics and soaked in everything I could learn through my education. It was not easy to grow up as a Muslim girl with an inquisitive mind. I had to refuse multiple arranged marriages and was often viewed as a troublemaker because of the many questions I had.
As I was flourishing in my academic learning, I was also evolving as an individual. I was beginning to see – through some of the targeting – things that would begin to shape my worldviews and shift my personal mission statement.
It was during my high school years that I began to see the significant impact of the media and propaganda on how much fear is perpetuated to have people think the worst of other races and cultures. I also saw how fear perpetuated violence and hatred and no other moment during that time in my life more clearly defined this for me than the Columbine Shooting.
As devastating as the Columbine Shooting was for me, several other tragedies followed, including being held at gunpoint during the Second Intifada in 2001 and a debilitating vehicle accident that left me with broken bones, head injuries, and neurological damage.
My life, it seemed, was leading me down a dark path and there were times when I simply could not function.
Thankfully, I was able to transform myself and how I would use these tragic experiences to grow as a person. I traveled, learned, went to school and graduated with three business degrees. I enhanced my self-growth by earning a degree in nutrition, training in neuroplasticity, becoming certified in NLT, and training in Vipassana Mediation.
Something within me was ignited after practicing meditation at Chom Tong for 30 days. After years of learning, introspection, and growing, I was emancipated from the limiting beliefs that my conditioning had instilled in me.
A passion was born: An urgent need to uplift others and to embrace and promote viable solutions that elevate all humanity to unprecedented heights by addressing the important survival problems like re-programming self-limiting beliefs, self-education, & well-being.
I was also keenly aware of the inequalities among many of the world’s cultures and developed an urgent need to elevate women who’ve been repressed from Socio-cultural programming of inequality.
Utilizing my expertise in business to establish and co-found multiple business models, I was able to help provide sustainable growth for companies and careers for many who would otherwise be left with no options for success.
Living a Life of Purpose
I believe we all have a spark within us that is there to be ignited into a flame that grows and passes on. I have dedicated myself to helping others find their own spark and determine where they want it to lead to. While I could lament over the things I have experienced in my tumultuous life, I choose, instead, to help others to realize their own internal flames and to be the creator of their own life. To ultimately understand that everything in life that happens is just gems guiding you to be the best version of yourself.