The Ursuline Chronicle:The student news magazine of Ursuline Academy

The Ursuline Chronicle

Turning Anxiety into Action

Yara Awad, Featured writer

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Democracy: Finding My Voice

“Tell me what democracy looks like”

“This is what democracy looks like”

That day in January, I stood in shock, reading the news headline that stated Donald Trump placed a ban on Muslims entering the country. Today I stood in a crowd of more than 5,000 people protesting hate and promoting the ideals that this country was founded on.

Events change people. People change events. Events make history.

My first thoughts when hearing about the ban on Muslims entering the country was complete and utter shock. Although this was an issue discussed frequently in the election, and something I had personally always feared, I never truly thought this could happen.

Nevertheless, the news became flooded with stories about Syrians detained in airports, students studying on visas barred from returning to their universities, and families torn apart. My heart was broken.

I began receiving messages from friends and family, telling me they support me in this difficult time in America, when we, as a people, are so divided. It pained me to know that discrimination is a living, breathing demon in our society that now has been legalized.

When facing hard times, it is easy to lose control, to sit back and watch life happen before your eyes. Whether facing adversity from the world, or conflict within yourself, it’s difficult to find your voice. However, as I shouted, “Tell me what democracy looks like,” and heard an overwhelming response from a crowd of thousands of people, I found my voice and I helped others find theirs. That is democracy.  And its power is transformative.

A photojournalist for WCAU in Philadelphia caught Yara in action.

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The Ursuline Chronicle:The student news magazine of Ursuline Academy
Turning Anxiety into Action