by Hafizah Khan, Age 15, London, England
Khan is an avid poet because it is an outlet for her to express her individuality in a free structure. The medium encourages her to voice her opinions and thoughts and gives her a way to visualize her thoughts through a creative process. After writing a speech for an academic assignment (below), Khan says she realized that, as a young woman, she has an opportunity to change and influence people for the better. Khan frequently reminds her relatives from older generations that the role of women has changed: women now have more choices and independence through education and financial security.
I am standing here today in front of a group of very diverse people. I am standing here as a brown female who wants to see change. I am standing here knowing I am flawed. I am told I cannot be successful because of my ethnicity and my gender. I am told that because of my circumstances, I am merely not good enough.
Education has given me hope to believe I can be something, but I have to earn it. Education has taught me that we are all equal and I can achieve just as much as anyone else. Society has told me I am nothing and that I do not belong. I am imperfect. I have been broken by society only to stand up again and then be knocked down. I will fall and rise, I will fall and rise. I will rebuild.
I am not defined by the words in which you say or the numbers in which you give me. I am human and I strive to erase this ‘image of perfection’ we have created amongst us and instead, embrace flaws. For if we don’t, I am fearful of what society may become.