Aamen is an American born woman to Muslim parents. She recounts her history with this country and how she has always considered herself an American never forgetting where she came from and always respecting her heritage. She was pregnant when 9/11 happened and experienced great racism when she made it to the hospital. The looks that she was given by patrons and staff were very hurtful. But it was finding out that at the moment of one of America’s greatest tragedies and the birth of her child that her parents were dying after being hit in a car accident. She talks of the day that she went to the 9/11 Memorial to pay her respects and was beaten by a group of people that only saw her burka and associated her with being a terrorist. There is nothing more difficult than sharing an anniversary with a day that will never truly be yours. Though battered and beaten she recovers and refuses to not pay her respects every year forcing the world to accept that she is much more than just what she looks like, she is a person with a name and that means something.
DI/ Female- I Am My Name
- (Aameen a strong and well put together, independent Muslim woman stands before us. At times she slips into her native Arabic tongue. Whether for emotional connection or just because it is easier to translate if she speaks it in Arabic first then in English, she transitions this flawlessly. She does this throughout the piece to give reverence to the world that she has always known and will always be a part of her.) My name is Aameen. It means faithful and trustworthy. (Smiles) My parents were very specific in the choosing of my name. In our country choosing a name for your child is very important. After much research and discussion the decision was made the day I was born. They held me and rocked me to sleep as she sing a lullaby, but she said I didn't stop crying until she called me by name. "Shhhh Aameen, welcome into the world." At least that was how she told the story. Knowing me I imagine a little more kicking and screaming and maybe a bottle or two but that’s the way she wanted me to remember it. (Laughs) My parents always fought for me to have the best. They fought to get me to this country. And they died praying that I would continue to make them proud and continue to make good decisions. They were truly believers in my name. That I would always be trustworthy to my friends, job, my husband and children and that I would always, always be faithful to myself, my upbringing and my faith. I don't think any of us realized what a lofty job that was going to be. But I took it on and I kept fighting.