By Ayaan Moledina
As a young Muslim in America, it can be challenging to find a purpose.
I found mine in 6th grade when the Covid-19 pandemic hit last year. I was in 6th grade.
A lot of information about the virus, the symptoms, and the infection came quickly.
I was watching TV when my dad switched to the news.
Anderson Cooper, who I later found out to be an anchor journalist at CNN, came on.
He talked about the pandemic and how the government was dealing with it. “Wow! This is cool!”
I learned through the news how the pandemic was also a political matter.
The pandemic opened my eyes to the suffering people faced, I also realized how blessed we are.
For me, this became an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated.
While I was thinking about how to share my knowledge about the vaccinations, my mother introduced me to her childhood friend Anila Ali, the founder of the American Muslim & Multifaith Women’s Empowerment Council, AMMWEC, a non-profit women’s rights organization empowering Muslims and women to confront bigotry in all its forms, celebrate our faith’s beautiful heritage, and build strong bonds with fellow Americans of all backgrounds.
AMMWEC was looking to establish a student wing and I saw my calling.
I could be their intern and spread the word about vaccinations and at the same time show that the Muslim youth were working as fellow Americans in the country’s fight against the virus.
To spread awareness about vaccinations, I made Facebook advertisements, went door-to-door to collect data about vaccinated people, set up booths outside grocery stores, made phone calls, and called people in over 20 states.
Even if they were totally against getting the vaccine, I feel that I pushed them a little closer towards doing so. AMMWEC guided me in my endeavors and amplified my voice.
The organization partners with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships.
That allowed me to listen in on the organization’s weekly calls with leaders such as Vice President Kamala Harris, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Secretary Buttigieg, and other people leading the way back to normalcy in a pandemic.
I am the first youth intern for AMMWEC and I hope to bring more kids and teens into the mix. AMMWEC is developing a student wing and we would love more volunteers.
I can personally say that AMMWEC has given my life a great purpose and I truly want others to experience that as well.
AMMWEC leaders are in the process of creating a Pakistani-American Democratic Club of Austin, Texas.
By chartering the club with the Democratic Party, we get seats on the democratic board. We need YOUR help to ensure that Pakistanis get a seat at the table and that our voices are heard.
Everybody deserves to have their voices heard! Joining the democratic club would ensure that.
Ayaan Moledina is a 7th grader at Canyon Vista Middle School. He is a local Austinite who believes that every kind word and caring gesture can make a world of difference.
For more information about signing up for the Pakistani-American Democratic Club, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A club is already established in Orange County which you can learn more about at padcofoc.org