“I moved to the US with my parents when I was 14 years old. The other kids in school called me a terrorist. Then they made jokes about me having a bomb underneath my jacket.

I cried every day. I didn’t even know what they were talking about. Nobody I know has ever done such a thing.

We saw it in the news just like Americans did. And we hated violence as much as they did.

I tried to explain it to the other kids, but they would just interrupt me.

They kept calling me names no matter what I said. And they would encourage each other come up with different jokes every time.

One day I asked a teacher for help. She was really nice and listened. She talked to them but nothing changed.

My teacher said she tried but the school has other issues she needs to focus on. She told me to just stay away from them.

And to ignore them if they say anything to me. But it was so hard to do what she said.

I was so angry with her. And angry with myself.

So many times I dreamed that I finally have the courage to say something back. Or come up with a joke that hurts them just as bad. But I never had the courage. So I gave up.

Growing up in the US as a teenager was horrible. The bullying and “terrorist” jokes never stopped until I graduated from High School.

I was already frustrated about leaving Jordan to come to the US. And the experience here made it even worse.

But I knew I cannot stay angry for the rest of my life. So I joined a women’s group at a local Mosque. This is the first time I felt welcomed in a very long time.

They were just like me. And they had similar experiences that we all shared.

It helped to know that you are not alone. And that it is okay to be different.

One day we decided to come up with a list of great responses to people that bully you for being Muslim. Only respectful responses. But sharp and direct.

It was a fun project. And emotional at the same time.

I wish I had that list when I was younger. It may have saved me a lot of tears. At least we can help our next generations growing up here in America.

We printed hundreds of copies to hand out to our Youth Group at the Mosque. Hopefully, it will save their day. One day.”