Yasmina Reality

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TEDxLUC invites #MyJihad

TEDxLUC invites #MyJihad

By on April 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

When the opportunity to give a TED Talk crosses your path in life, you have two choices.  You can:

1)  Run for the hills screaming, “Noooooo!  I would rather be eaten alive by maggots!”


2)  Stay put; and say to yourself, “Wow. This is a huge honor.  Maybe I should take a stab at this.”

Though the first option definitely crossed my mind, I am not one to back down from a bona fide challenge. Particularly one that could give me the chance to pay forward in a big way.

On Saturday, March 16, 2013, I gave a TED talk on Chicago’s beautiful Lake Shore campus of Loyola University entitled:

‘#MyJihad: A struggle for self-expression.”

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My closest friends might laugh at the title of my Talk as I have never been one to be shy about expressing myself.  But after reflection, this title was perfect for my Talk and for #MyJihad (my personal struggle.)  The video will be published soon; and I hope you will watch it and then- you will likely agree with me.

Speaking as a representative of the #MyJihad Public Education Campaign is an honor in and of itself.  Speaking about #MyJihad for a TEDx audience- is out of this world.  I did not take this invitation lightly.  I spent hours, days and weeks contemplating my message.  Pulling from deep inside which wasn’t easy.  How much am I willing to share with the world? I asked myself.  The answer was: I am willing to share whatever it takes to explain #MyJihad by telling a story.  My story.

No big endeavor is ever done alone.  Without my #MyJihad core support (Angie, Saleha, Sadaf, Ahmed, Rana, Rania and others) I could not have done it.  I also want to thank the many supporters of the #MyJihad campaign and my family and friends who cheered me on and who watched the live streaming internet feed that day.  I hope that my video reaches far and wide and inspires.

No big endeavor is done alone OR without celebration!  After a most excellent day on Loyola’s campus, my #MyJihad girls and me- we hit renowned Devon Avenue in Chicago and hunkered down at one of the best Indian restaurants you can find.  And calories were (gasp!) not counted.

My TEDxLUC Talk will be posted here and on the #MyJihad website and Facebook page.  Thanks for keeping your eye open for it!

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About the Author

About the Author: I'm a Writer and Muslim Activist. I'm also a Board Member of the #MyJihad Public Education Campaign. Follow my blog at yasminareality.com or follow me on Twitter: @yasmina_reality. I'm also now on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YasminaReality Peace! .

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