Nyla

Canada

15
She/her

Message to Readers

Peer reviews and critical comments are very much appreciated!!! I will record a video to this but I thought it would be better to record only my final draft cause I'm lazy ;)

In case you didn't know- Bill 21 is the name of a bill passed in Quebec (a province of Canada) that bans Government employees from wearing any symbols of religious affiliation. That means hijabs, turbans, cross necklaces, etc.

I just realized at this part at the ending, "giving me I have bruised shins" ignore the "I have". I forgot to delete that when I added a word.

It Hurts

April 7, 2021

Two-thirds
Two-thirds
Two-thirds of hate crimes go unreported Statistics Canada says.
And hate crime does not include one-time hate words, it is only when the hate becomes visible to the naked eye that it is deemed crime. It is only when we can see the consequences of actions that something becomes illegal because "one word doesn't hurt". But I've never forgotten that day when someone called me a Jihadist to my face or how I went to bed crying, thinking someone was going to come hurt me and call me scum for believing. And shoot bullets to take lives, in the place we shoot prayers of love. And throw acid on my face to try to cleanse my soul but little would they know I cleanse five times a day because cleanliness is half of a faith that is living, breathing, and fueling me to say, 
It hurts
Knowing that what I am will stop others from seeing who I am. Never judge a book by its cover, but if a woman covers herself then you think you're above her. 
It hurts
When all I need to hear on the news is the word terrorist, to know it's going to be a Muslim man, with a mugshot. They'll make sure everyone knows he was in his right mind, not distraught. But not for the next guy, because, look, he's White.  So he's smiling because it's not his fault, he's clinically insane. And after that they'll all remind us of that fateful day- do you remember who hijacked that airplane? 
It hurts
When I want to cover my hair because that's who I am inside, but there's constant fear surrounding a swath of fabric wrapped from side to side. Showing less of ourselves makes us look less like we belong and we will always be seen as foreign and strange and it has come high time for that to change. And I'm a coward because I'm scared, not courageous like those who risk their lives to profess their beliefs. And I'm weak. I have insecurities. I wilt like a flower when there's a light breeze and let people go on and say what they please. And when Bill 21 bans them from cloth, they protest while I fail and be someone I'm not. And I want to support them but
It hurts
Losing a piece of my identity day after day as my tongue weakens and my identity crumbles to conform to the Eurocentric ideal that I'd benefit to be. 
It hurts
When I'm not blind or deaf or dumb but everyone continues reaffirming their view on my breath until it's all I can hear. And their breaths they waste telling me how they wish I would disappear. 
It hurts
When if I stay true to my soul, I'll be seen as a threat they can't control. 
Knowing that I'll never be seen for my intelligence as I intend but a force of evil and the devil himself who should descend
"Go home" they scream
But my only home is here.
Why are they so mean?
It hurts
Isn’t it time to come together? Instead of growing further apart- and every new law they say is to protect sets a fire to my heart
Every day I come home and wash off the glares and stares from my raw skin
Looking down at my legs with admiration for carrying me through this jungle of hate giving me I have bruised shins
And it is apparent- in this world, I will never win
It hurts
But every day we see change- I remember my mother crying when Malala gave her UN address but through those tears, she was smiling because it was that little boost of hope we needed. But this idea of equality was seeded long ago and it still has a big job ahead I know. So right now,
It hurts
But I've learned to live with the pain and those two-thirds I hope to display, I only hope my children don't have to go through this someday. 
Backstory: Once in grade 7 (I'm in grade 10 now), a boy in my grade called me a Jihadist. I don’t wear a scarf yet but my mum did and he knew that. He was even a friend of my friends and managed to let the word slip when we were playing at recess and they all ran ahead to a tree. I asked him to repeat what he said and he said “nothing” before running to everyone else. I never told anyone (until just today I told my mum when I showed her this- and she didn't even bat an eye lol, it's that accepted we're called things like that) and for a long time, I convinced myself it never happened, that I misheard. But I know he said it because when he uttered that word with this horrendous tone of accusation, my heart started pounding and I wanted to cry. Even though he never acted differently around me, from that moment on it reaffirmed what I already knew, I will always be a threat. I’m very fortunate to have never experienced anything truly terrible like so many others and I know that, but this isn’t just for me- this is for everyone like me.
Anyways, that’s what inspired me to write this piece. This is still very raw and I feel like it could benefit from more figurative language as I’m not sure the straightforwardness is helpful so peer reviews are very much appreciated and please be critical! 

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

39 Comments
  • Writing4Life

    Wow, Nyla. I can't believe I didn't see this piece; it's incredibly gorgeous. The power and rawness is just so powerful, and I'm so sorry it's been difficult for you <3
    Also it's cool that the winning peer review was of this piece!


    5 months ago
  • almost flora kane

    re: thanks for the clarification! so glad it makes sense.


    5 months ago
  • McK13

    Re: aww thanks so much! Very ture, I definitely have to work on that soon! I've been so busy which is so strange since I also haven't left my house but I was doing lots of yard work and I had to catch up on some schoolwork. Yessss, Covid is the absolute worst, hopefully these vaccines help so life can go back to normal eventually! And hopefully, Canada starts getting more vaccines too! Ooh, that's cool that you went on a leadership camp and congrats on being selected! Lol! I feel like camps or activities like that use words to make it sound really fancy when really it's not XD! That's really awesome that you loved them though -- they sound like lots of fun! I wish I got to go on end of year trips though we do get to go to like amusement parks so that's fun :) Yes, that makes lots of sense that you would become closer with people at overnight camps than day camps. Same!! I use to go to all of these science and music (not that I'm musically talented lol -- everyone there was in first or second grade so no one really was lol!) camps when I was younger but I stopped around 10 or 11 because I started playing club sports and those go into June and July. But I did have a lot of fun! HAHA!! Yes, I will have to try them! Lol, I think the photos look pretty good but I'm sure that it tastes way better!! Yep, anytime! Ooh, all of that sounds like so much fun!! I've never played cricket (just another thing I will need to add to my bucket list yayayay) Yeah, it would totally get aggressive at my house and very competitive! We'd probably make tons of weird bets lol! Of course!! Thank you!! And congrats on making it through :)


    5 months ago
  • McK13

    Omg!! I don't know what to say...this piece is absolutely amazing (and I know I've said that so many times but this is truly phenomenal!!!) It is so empowering and utterly beautiful! I could read this every day for the rest of my life and still feel so touched (probably more and more each time)! I love how you repeat with "two-thirds" and "it hurts" because of the consistent emphasis. And although this is so heartbreaking, it is also a call for change and you have my full, undivided attention! I could list off all of my favorite lines but there's so many gorgeous parts that I could never choose (after all I'm so indecisive lol) I'm in awe...literal awe of you and this piece. I hope the world is working towards a better future without assumptions, stereotypical behavior, senseless hate crime, and thousands living in fear. I'm so sorry you had to go through something that is way too common but I'm so glad that you are are using your wonderful writing ability to write from your heart with authenticity and purpose! Keep being amazing! And whenever I have time in the next day or two, I'll make sure to review!! (Also kinda long reply coming)


    5 months ago
  • psithurism

    re: No problem! <3


    5 months ago
  • Nikki

    *jaw drops* this is beautiful. i am absolutely speechless. just when i thought you couldn't get any cooler, YOU JUST HAVE. this piece says things that perhaps even actions couldnt. it screams power. and i love it so much.
    if you ever find a list of people who were asses to you with their address. i would really love to get that list. for no reason, like at all *whistles guiltily*
    re: eeeeeeeeeeeee! i cant believe you watch all my favourite shows. i have NEVER met someone who has watched all. (please marry me Nyla)
    haha tho i havent watched The office, not yet, i bet its a great showww!
    oh its so good to hear that ur adapting to ur braces :)
    HAHAHHAH, yes i did mean squash court XD. omg really? ur so lucky you have such cool stuff to do there :( i would so love to give hiking a chance!
    umm oo! so so so i got a sticker that says 'terry loves yogurt' 'gina knows best' 'rosebud motel' 'you thought i was dead, so did the president's enemies, Burt macklin FBI' 'La La La La La La La a little bit alexis'
    yes now im done talking abt my phone cover uWu
    also i think i will be uploading my entry for this competition, do give it a read if possible :)
    okay byee. love youuuuu <3


    5 months ago
  • Rohan’s Defender (Semi-Active)

    Re: haha! Well, I think I was maybe in like 3rd grade or something? I don’t remember exactly, but I’m not gonna lie, I sometimes watch it now! XD


    5 months ago
  • useless :)

    wow...i'm in awe. this is stunning. i'm so sorry that you have to deal with this, and you express raw emotion so beautifully here. the repetition of "it hurts" is amazing, and the whole piece is so powerful.
    "cleanliness is half of a faith that is living, breathing, and fueling me to say,"
    "Never judge a book by its cover, but if a woman covers herself then you think you're above her."
    "And it is apparent- in this world, I will never win"
    just wow. this is a message that everyone should see. and nyla, you're so brave for writing this, it's truly admirable. good luck in the competition :)
    re: thank you! true haha, i should keep that in mind more often. thanks again :D
    no problem! yeah, i get that. have a great day! :)


    5 months ago
  • psithurism

    Just submitted a review! <3


    5 months ago
  • Cornflower Burst

    So good!


    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Oh Nyla... I'm so sorry that there are people like this who try to ruin our wonderful world with hate and ignorance.


    5 months ago
  • Parisienne

    I am so, so sorry you had to endure this Nyla! Hate crime is disgusting...I hate how people will band around racist attitudes for no reason. I'm so sorry that this happened but the piece in itself is stunning. You convey the sense of fear and hatred really clearly (it's almost like we get a glimpse into your thoughts which is so powerful!)
    I'm sorry I haven't replied to your longer comment yet but I will soon, I'm just really busy at the moment. Anyway, hope you're okay and take care.
    Becca <3


    5 months ago
  • almost flora kane

    found the time to do a review! hope it's helpful, and if there's any specific questions i could answer to help make things more clear, shoot me a comment:) plus, when you put out a second draft, feel free to throw a link in a comment and i'll check it out. can't wait to see where you go with this!


    5 months ago
  • Rohan’s Defender (Semi-Active)

    Re: hahah, that’s so funny! XD XD
    Oh really? Wow, that is interesting! Did you ever watch Odd Squad? That was one of my favorite shows a few years ago, lol.


    6 months ago
  • astrea

    WOW! i am in awe! this is so powerful. the flow of the poem is just awesome! hope you do well in the comp!


    6 months ago
  • BizzleWrites

    Re: Thankyou!! I mean, you're kind of right. The philosopher is kind of me though, which is kind of weird...


    6 months ago
  • Yellow Sweater

    I left a review:) It was even more powerful on the second read-through. Truly amazing Nyla.


    6 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Re: Thank you! <3


    6 months ago
  • BriRiley

    Re: Thanks!


    6 months ago
  • Yellow Sweater

    Also, I did a quick read-through of this piece. I am planning on doing a deeper read and review soon, but wow. This is utterly stunning. The rhythm, the power, the sheer weight of what you are saying and the release of saying it. I am still catching my breath.


    6 months ago
  • Yellow Sweater

    Re: I would love to review this piece! Also thank you so much for starting up a discussion! I actually totally agree with you that religion gives us consciousness. And I think religion is a truly beautiful thing. Without it, we wouldn't have the rich cultures we do. But what I was exploring (and again I am not sure if I agree with myself) is the idea that it is our self-awareness, our ability to build independent realities, that is at the heart of what is causing climate change. But I for one, definitely don't want to surrender culture, so I am hoping we can find some way to adapt.


    6 months ago
  • almost flora kane

    re: thank you for the advice. i'll be thinking about that. it's a complicated situation for sure, so yes, while i want to go, i don't have a lot of friends outside of this group. my main thing is that some people might actually follow me away from her, so it's a little hard to tell what the best thing to do is without splitting everything up. when i figure out what i'm going to do, i'll definitely be writing more about it:) my family have been great to talk through all this stuff, and thanks so much for supporting me too! i welcome your essay haha


    6 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Re: Thank you so much!!!
    I'll try to find the energy to write a review of your piece. I can't write reviews often, but you'll be a top priority.


    6 months ago
  • almost flora kane

    re: thank you for submitting a review, i will be going into depth on this piece very soon, though i would like to warn you that i have a busy few days coming up so it might a little bit. i will get that review to you, though! and i wish i could get away from the friend i speak about in my poem, unfortunately, i am somewhat afraid of her anger, and also if i leave my entire friend group might split. so yes, the unknowns are... scary. i'm very aware of the emotional toll she's leaving on me, however, so i have been able to put a bit of distance between us anyway.


    6 months ago
  • gabimarie

    re: thank you! yesss can you imagine? honestly that would be so brilliant. there's this park on the college campus close to my house, and i will sometimes sit under this tree and read for hours lol. i love reading outside. have an amazing day :)


    6 months ago
  • psithurism

    re: Oh my goodness thank you so much, and of course I'll review your competition piece! School has kept me a bit busy recently, but I'll find time for it within the next one or two days. <3


    6 months ago
  • psithurism

    re: Aww, thanks!


    6 months ago
  • aaliyahh

    wow nyla..this is really amazing..it's so powerful, and i could feel every emotion in this piece, you really did a great job, this is amazing!
    re: guess who's back...haha! and omg you have invisalign? i've heard about it, and when i was like 10 i wanted it soo bad..but now i have braces, which tbh they aren't as bad as people say they are, but i feel you on the pain part lol. and yes omg with the little battles i never remember which ones are in order, or like when they happened. it's so annoying. and haha yes it is a good idea right?? but i want you to be the one to make them first, and then tell me how they are! (i'll definitely let you take credit on this one) and omg honestly me too! there's another PLT...uhh, i forgot what it's called, but it only had like hanna, and allison i think..but i only got through a few episodes it wasn't that interesting. ooo and you liked girl meets world?? i've never actually watched it but i've seen it on TV here and there, maybe i should see what it's about :)! and favorite disney princess? that's an easy one! it's tiana (princess and the frog)..i'm obsessed with new orleans, and she cooks too and wants her own restaurant..plus that alligator is so cute it's ahhhh- who's your favorite princess? and idk where i watched it!! i watched it with my grandmother one day, i want to say it's on amazon?? -like amazon movies; but i can ask her! it was really good, i'll be sure to read the book. you have a fantastic day too!! and i'll be responding a lot sooner lol- :)


    6 months ago
  • barelybear

    This is incredible. Honestly I want everyone to read this. People need to read this. I read the whole thing through out loud, and you had such a great rhythm, with moments of flow and rhyme and moments of sincerity, all wrapped up in that “It hurts” mantra. I’m glad you’ve spoken out so powerfully about the corruption in our society, and I’m so sorry that you’ve had to feel upset and scared <3
    I think the line “Never judge a book by its cover but if a woman covers herself then you think you’re above her” was so perfect. It was really heartfelt, and definitely will stick with me.
    Re (Stacey): ahh thank you! Man I had that whole series planned out, but I never quite got round to the next one. To be fair, it took me a while to even write Jenny’s. I think it felt a little forced, because I’d never tried that genre or even a series before. But we’ve still got the map of their town, and all the notes I made on each character I was going to introduce haha, so maybe we’ll get back on it.
    Haha I would definitely eat a Nyla twist. Vanilla with swirls of bubblegum and a few rocks thrown in there to celebrate extra strong non-bracey teeth? Man it’s been a while since I’ve had ice cream :D
    Yea gotta say I reckon quite a lot of our NHS tax goes towards braces haha. I know like two people who haven’t had braces lel.
    Ahhh oh no I don’t know marvel or dc they’re the same thing tho?? A bunch of superheros that smash stuff. From what I’ve picked up though, marvel seems to have better character and plot developments?? Who am I kidding, I have no clue lmao.

    Oh gosh CURLY WHIRLY. A sweet shop legend, the classic Friday after school treat. The one that takes forever to eat because it’s just so yummy and chewy. Good choice :D (we’re not even gonna talk about the milky bar or I’ll get too upset.)
    But really? Hershey’s? Maybe I’ve just been spoilt brought up in England with quality produce like Cadbury. It’s okay, it’s not your fault :p
    I can’t believe your mum says the same :D
    It really must be true haha.
    Ooh Lindor and Toblerone one are geniusss. But I’m afraid they’re mostly for special occasions as they’re harder to find and double the price. But wow oh goodness a dark chocolate toblerone is glorious. I must’ve get too rich when I’m older, or I’ll end up eating them every day.

    I’m confused. Big testy thing? We don’t have grades, only years haha. We take sats (not the same as in the US, just English and maths) in year 6. Then we take GCSEs in year 11 and A levels in year 13 (the last year before uni/college).
    I think I want to study history. My mum really wants me to be an author and become super rich, but I had to tell her that the break only comes for a few lucky duckies. I’m not sure what I’d do with history. Maybe I’d be a lecturer of I’d convert and study law. Or I could write historical fiction novels and kill both birds with one stone haha.
    It’s a shame that there is so much racism, but I’m also glad that recently it’s been brought to light more and more. Hopefully our generation will bring change, and acceptance, but we do have quite a way to go I think. I would still love to visit Canada again though. Why did I go there? I took part in the World Scout Jamboree, which was basically a massive gathering of scouts from all around the world. In 2019 it was US, Mexico and Canada hosting, so afterwards, we got to travel to visit Canada for a couple of days. And we went pretty far south to make the journey from Washington as short as possible ahah. I feel like I really need to return, since I was completely exhausted, and on our day trip to Toronto we didn’t even manage to drag ourselves up the CN tower. But there was this great plaza with a piano and a Toronto sign, which made me completely fall in love with the area!!

    Oh no now I read that you don’t like lawyers :D
    I think yea there’s definitely that conflict when you know you’re saving a guilty person or locking away someone who is innocent. Idk how I’d react to that..

    That “Healthy amount of shiny” was taken in America, hence the exhaustion and suffering from the high temperature. I mean, it was over 30°c!! :D but aw thank youuu you are very very sweet!
    Ah yes I understand. I will be on the lookout for the video, and your edits :)
    I hope you signed up for the expert review because I’m really rooting for this and they’ve been super helpful for me in the past! Still need to get cracking if I’m going to enter ahah. But yes, I guess getting started and writing something is better than nothing haha.

    Oh please tell me you watched the one with Leo dC!! What a fun day! We begged our English teacher to let us see it, but we ended up studying Macbeth, so watched a weird modernised chef version. But anyway, Macbeth is easier to analyse, I think. Agh.

    Wait haha did you just say that?? I’m laughing so much :D
    Umm okay what about “Get oot of your bed and have a great day, eh?” Ah you see I’d fit right in in Canada.

    Re (Chen): haha the suspense is even greater, because you have no idea when I’ll bother to write and post the next chapter oops :)
    And yes, I was extremely delighted when I at long last figured out how to do the linky thing that we were taught in year 8 computer science c:

    Hope you have another Leo-filled day!


    6 months ago
  • Rohan’s Defender (Semi-Active)

    Re: yeah, I agree!!
    WAIT GIRL YOU HAD A CRUSH ON DONNIE TOO?!?! I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY GIRL WHO LIKE EVER HAD A CRUSH ON HIM!!!!!!! XD XD Wowww, it’s crazy how similar we are!!! Haha!
    No I haven’t seen that show actually. I used to watch PBS kids and Disney Junior mostly (once I was past the Wiggles, Barney, and Sesame Street).


    6 months ago
  • nolongeractive

    Re: Thank youuuuu


    6 months ago
  • only_a_mirage (bird)

    re: thank you!!! im trying to write more pieces reflecting on what life is like rn.
    re re (lol): no problem!!! also thank you for the offer, i will definitely take you up on that lol


    6 months ago
  • nolongeractive

    Re: Thank you so much!!!! And I also just submitted a review of this piece!


    6 months ago
  • BriRiley

    Re: Haha, thanks!! Well get some sleep! XD


    6 months ago
  • nolongeractive

    Definitely keep writing, I really look forward to seeing what other pieces you publish and come up with because I want to read every single one. I love you do like the simple one-liners in between each of the large paragraphs, it is almost like a metaphorical breather and it is fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, it is lovely.


    6 months ago
  • BriRiley

    Re: If you ever find the time could you review my piece for this comp? It’s called “Thrifting the world” But if you don’t have time that fine too :D


    6 months ago
  • Lata.B

    Re- Aw thank you so much <3
    Yes! Also, I really hope nothing like that ever happens again. Sending lots of love!!


    6 months ago
  • Lata.B

    This is so terrible! What the heck. I'm so sorry you went through that! That makes me so mad
    anyway about your beautiful writing:
    Wow but the message you are putting out is so eye-opening and just the way you put it is perfect!


    6 months ago
  • BriRiley

    Aww, I’m sorry that happened, :( some people just don’t support others in their beliefs. You are awesome, and I fully support you! P.s do you mind if I review this? I would love to! :D


    6 months ago