My name is Fatumata Diakite. I was born on May 31,2001. It is important to know that I’m such a independent woman. I don’t rely on anyone to do something for me. Whatever I do it is for me and just me. I was born and raised in the Bronx, but my family is from Mali. I am 17 years old and I am Muslim. Being Muslim means so much to me. To be Muslim means to follow rules and regulations sent down from our prophet. To be Muslim means I must pray 5 times a day, to be Muslim means I must fast during the month of Ramadan, to be Muslim means I must wear a hijab in public. A hijab is a specific type of head covering Muslim women wear to cover their hair. Although some might not understand why we do this, we do this because as Muslim women we must cover up whatever attracts the eye of men; the hijab defines us as Muslim women as well. If a person was to walk pass by me they can automatically tell I am Muslim, which I’m most proud of. I speak multiple languages: English, Bambara, Soninke and a little bit of French. Throughout my life I’ve had the worst experiences and the best experiences but I’ll say entering high school was the most challenging of my life… for now.

I love school. This may sound a little cliche but school is the key to success. My favorite subject in school is history. I enjoy learning about ancient times and different cultures and countries. I am pretty much good with all my subjects like English and History but I do struggle sometimes in math. Math is my worst subject of all. I am very athletic so I love gym. Some sports I love to play are volleyball and badminton. I also love to jump rope. Overall, school is great! I’m pretty good at exams but I do get stressed before taking them. I’ve been like this all my life. The key to exam taking is studying, studying, studying and believing in yourself. School is great; I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to go to school and gain knowledge on a variety of things in different subjects.

I enjoy hanging out with my friends out of school. I don’t have many which is totally fine, the only thing that matters is that I’m surrounded by REAL people who support and love me through thick and thin. When I’m not in school me and my friends go out to eat at some of the dopest restaurants like Chick-Fil-A , Shake Shack, Black Tap etc. We’ll go watch a movie or stay and chill at one of our houses. We’ll talk, gossip, take pictures, you know… anything to keep ourselves busy. I’m good at Afro dancing and somewhat in Contemporary. I love to dance. When I’m not busy I do tend to take some classes and practice at home. Dancing makes me feel really happy, when I dance all negative thoughts and depressed thoughts all go away. At that moment I say to myself let me live my best life and not worry about anything else.

One person who is really close to me dropped out of high school. This person is my cousin. Although I really don’t know why she dropped out of high school some things she told me was she got bullied A LOT, no one liked her and people thought she was weird. Which I thought was really not fair, I can’t blame her, if I was in a situation like that I would’ve done the same. At the same time she shouldn’t have dropped out she should have easily just transferred schools and started off new. I guess she was scared the same thing would have happened again. As humans, especially teenagers, we must realize where ever we are and wherever we go there will always be people who will hate you and will do anything to put you down. You must stand up for yourself, dont care what others think, anything you do like dropping out of high school is going to affect you not them, so be brave and don’t care what others think.

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May 7, 2019 2:11 pm

Dear Fatumata, your story really stands out and is touching. You have gone through a lot of things and your just an inspiring person. You love your religion and passionate. This story should be hurd more and let it inspire others. on how to get through things and how it’ll help out. I can relate on moving, i’ve lived in a few states around the U.S such as Texas, Tennessee, Florida, and now NYC. NYC is a lot different then where I used to live but I got over it and adjusted.

April 16, 2019 2:26 pm

I am touched on how you are proud to be muslim and how people need to speak up for them self. People now in days aren’t proud to be who they are and where they came from.

Your post reminds me of something that happened to me. One time i also have a friend that gets bullied and how she wants to drop of of school but she doesn’t know to stand up so the best way for her is dropping out. if you write more about how being a woman can be great and we have power you can change people thinking.
Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next time:)

March 27, 2019 6:19 pm

I am Fascinated by, your bio, “You must stand up for yourself,” because of how well you are able to describe your life, it seems to be very interesting

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “I am Muslim, which I’m most proud of” I think this is very good to say because in today’s world there is a lot of hatred towards Muslims and I really don’t know why. Also many try to hide there are Muslim as they are scared of people finding out, but you are proud of it and are no scared to show it with I an very happy to here

Another sentence that I really liked was: “At that moment I say to myself let me live my best life and not worry about anything else.” This stood out for me because people don’t really look out for the positives in life, there always looking at the negative. Also it is interesting to see how dancing can impact you in such a way.

Your bio reminds me of something that happened to me. One time my friend was getting bullied and he to wanted to not come to school. He barely can to school because he wanted to avoid getting bullied.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because this bio really impacted the way i think about stuff and I hope your other writing do the same.

March 27, 2019 6:08 pm

Dear, Fatumata

Hi, I really enjoyed your bio and how you are passionate and proud to be a muslim independent women . I was also very touched when you stared to talked about when you friend decided to drop out of school because I can relate to that to that as well. I also enjoyed how in your bio many people can connect and relate to it because many people are going through this. I am looking forward to all your new work.

March 13, 2019 1:51 pm

Love the way you describe yourself as in independent women who is passionate about her religion and school. I’m happy to see young women be so proud of their religions even when others bully and say nasty things. Some people just don’t have nothing good going on and rather put others down but that’s not you and I’m happy for you. Thank you for sharing this with us.

February 27, 2019 3:30 pm

Thank you so much for your thoughts Fatumata! Your story is so interesting, and its amazing to see someone so proud of their religion and accomplishments. The piece about bullying at the end really stood out to me. Its something that everyone can connect to and learn from, which is really important. You hear so many examples of ignorance and bullying in schools today, and its nice to see someone rise above it with pride. I look forward to reading more of your work!

February 6, 2019 8:37 pm

I love how passionate you are about your beliefs! Although my religion isn’t the same as yours, I still respect you for being so open and proud of it. It’s something that others tend to hide, so I love it when people will talk about their religion in such a joyful way. I also agree with what you said at the end, about being brave and not caring what others think. My siblings and I dealt with some level of bullying throughout our school years. And, it sucks but, you just need to put them behind you because they don’t know you as a person.

Overall, I really liked how open you are throughout this. And although I can’t fully agree on the part where you love school, I definitely like history classes as well, haha.

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