Why We Fight for Peace And Freedom: America Unified

I hate to say it.

I’m not sure I can.

Perhaps an epi-pen on hand is necessary. EMT & Emergency First Responders are here so I’ll sputter this out.

I apologize ahead of time.

My throat tightens as my pulse races, but here goes…Damn it, I have to thank DJT.
Holy F*ck Balls.

Seriously, stay with me. DJT succeeded in one thing:  we–not just women–but WE THE PEOPLE–again not just the USA, we have all risen.

We are no longer sitting or relegating activism to our social media feeds in the form of hashtags or banners/filters on our profile pics . DJT has forced us into finally remembering that activism requires activity.

I remember the words of my Grandma when I first wrote about the importance of voting. I was 18 and getting published in our local paper; an editorial I had written for school was submitted by a teacher because she felt my voice mattered. I can see my grandmother with a can of Budweiser in one hand and a kebab in the other as she enthusiastically reminded me that SHE didn’t have a choice. Amused and also afraid that she’d poke me with the sharp end of the kebab stick, her passion and pride shaped every fiber of who I am.

(Omar Dana (Jido) and Ihsan Dana (Teta) my grandparents )

My heritage was never lost and she sure as hell wasn’t going to let me forget why.

She didn’t have the rights I did.

She was serious. That kebab and can of Bud infused that moment with so much nostalgia it became our tradition to drink a beer and watch debates with hummus and kebabs.

She wasn’t going to let it go. She had a point.  She didn’t have the same rights some want to take from us and if I wanted to keep them or decide for myself I had to remember that every day would be a fight. Every win a gift.

I hate beer but I’d sneak a sip thinking I was clever asking her what she wished she’d fought for. Only then did her her tone grow somber. She said one word:  Hitler.

She slammed her beer and ensued into prayer. After her Amen, a plethora of curse words that still make me blush came out like heat-seeking missiles. She shook her head and said, “We didn’t believe it. We thought it couldn’t happen. Then we saw.  People started getting put on lists. We had to lie. We had no hope. If I was an American, not an Arab in Lebanon, I would have marched till my feet bled. I’m sorry I couldn’t.”

Cracking her second can of beer she continued:  “You, you will not be lazy. You won’t forget all those families. You won’t forget the nations that came before you. You are an American. You are a woman. You are human. Don’t ever forget your heart. It’s the same heart. They bleed, you bleed!”

Mesmerized by her passion and unwavering strength of conviction I knew her words were intended to make a lasting impression. As she continued I realized she wanted to ensure that our tragedies didn’t have to repeat. We could learn from our past. We had that power.   Her words stuck with me.  I wrote down each word translating from Arabic to English.

“You don’t just watch. You move. You change. You fight. Soldiers fight wars. You support them by fighting for what’s right. You serve the world.”

On this Memorial Day remember what matters. Don’t forget the sacrifice. Don’t forget to stand together.

To all those who fought the good fight remember, an immigrant from Lebanon and devout Muslim wanted to ensure that I lived my life not guided by faith. She wanted me to trust my heart. Follow it. Have convictions while being aware that no action would make me complicit.

From my heart to yours, I stand with you. I applaud your courage, sacrifice and find hope for better days to come.

All my love.

Shareen Mansfield 


21 thoughts on “Why We Fight for Peace And Freedom: America Unified

  1. Thank you, Shareen. Yes, here’s to our grandmas who knew what it was like to be powerless. Here’s to the ones who suffer still, including the soldiers sent to die in unnecessary wars for the power drive of men who never went to war themselves or sent their sons to war. Here’s to women like you who will not forget. I tip a Bud to you! Not the greatest beer, but they have beautiful horses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true! I had a real moment of self reflection after the election. I couldn’t understand why my “elders” were so calm about things. Then a friends grandma took a moment to send me a private message reminding me that it was a matter of time before our social media along with this digital age of supposed enlightenment would be tested. For her that time was now. We don’t have the excuse of lacking timely information or access. We took for granted the steps forward we made . Many of us myself included thought we could take a break. There is no time to look away for injustice. Whatever the cause every second matters. My grandma would agree with you on the horses. She’s actually be mortified knowing I remember those beers. She rarely drank. I am like her. I do occasionally indulge because why not but I also know that a clear mind is the key to stability. My grandma never wanted war or injustice. She knew it was not new . She also believed that there would be a time when we would find a better way. Her voice is so clear in my darkest hours. She always said that it’s not about living in the past . It’s about learning from that painful history. Covering up the ugliness of the world meant you didn’t see it. Seeing it meant you might be able to face it . Fight it and bring forth the world you want to live in. I prefer a nice summer brew not too hoppy. A Budweiser and kebab will always bring up that lessons she tried to weave into everyday interactions . Thank you Elaine!!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not sure I can either but I let the 100 days pass keeping true to my promise for every President that is elected. I gave him a chance. I tried to be hopeful. However and there’s a huge comma after that however …It is time I kicked it up a few notches. My silence helps no one . While I will still take a step back from the pages of my publication because OTV is not about me or my views I will be actively working to change the next election .


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s