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  • Hükümet Adı: Kenneth Thompson
  • Sayı kayıt: 62502-066
  • Yaş:32
  • Zaman Served:9 yrs
  • Home Town:Kuzey Philadelphia, PA
  • Cümle:20 yrs.
  • Şarj akımı:Mülk (61 kilograms) with intent to Deliver
  • Takma ad:Ken-Roc
  • Yayın Tarihi:2024
  • Cezaevi Ortaklık:N / A
  • Etki daire:Emanuel Jones
  • Kurum:FCI McKean
  • Bizim çalışmalar, ağır ve tahammül son derece zor olabilir ama, kesinlikle sürece biz hasta kalır ve uygun şekilde Allah'a ibadet devam ederken, Bizim ödül bile büyük olacak.

Mujahid: The Story of a Struggling Soul

His skin was dark, almost as black as the moonless sky of an Alabama night. The first time I saw him my skin tingled with fear. My heart pumped fast. I grew weak. My wide blue eyes took in a sight they had never seen before- Mujahid. He stuck out his hand out for me to shake, only then did I realize that I was awestruck and it may have been ruder than I had ever intended it to be. “Ey, hi, I’m Ann” I shook his rough hand, “Ann Mitchell.”

Mujahid’s eyes were big, brown and filled with mystery. They made me wonder who he was. I questioned without speaking as his tall muscular frame towered over the short, pudgy body my life had been trapped inside. “Are you ok Ms. Mitchell?” Again his voice broke my thoughts. “Evet,” I forced a smile, “I’m sorry.” “Don’t be,” he gave me calm, “I’m used to it.” “Used to what?” I asked unafraid to look into his face. “I’m used to people being surprised by who I am, to dress the way I dress and to believe what I believe.” “Iyi,” I pondered over his words, “that’s interesting.” “So is life Ms. Mitchell. But only if we allow our interest to grow.” The tone of his voice was smooth, rich and more mature than I expected. I smiled again and sat down on the wooden bench and pressed record on my voice recorder.

“What is it about life that interests you?” Diye sordum. When he smiled in return, I knew he appreciated the opportunity to have his voice heard. Mujahid Abdus Samad was the top basketball recruit in the country. I sat there on the wooden bench overlooking the duck-filled pond to interview him for the school newspaper. “Life itself is what interests me Ms. Mitchell. Life itself.” “Lütfen,” my smile was now more one of infatuation, “what is it that you mean?” “Take these ducks in the pond for example,” he looked out at the pond from the bench next to me, “to many they are creatures, animals or nothing more than scenery. They are a pleasant sight to see and for some this is the only reason they are there. We look at them and we forget they are alive, unless we happen to see one that is dead. Even then, it is not natural for us to realize that even a duck has a soul; even a duck has a family and an expiration date on which they will die. These are the facts of life that interest me. The sun shines bright. The blades of grass are green. The skies are blue. The weather is for us all to enjoy. We breathe life. But so many of us take this for granted.

As Mujahid spoke I began to feel embarrassed and ignorant, just as shallow as the pond before us. I began to feel ashamed, ungrateful and somehow mesmerized by his perception and intellect. I spent my afternoons on this bench reading, studying notes and conducting interviews but never had I looked at the ducks as anything more than just ducks. Never had I enjoyed the weather. For me it was always too hot, too humid or too cold. The sky was something that was just there, but in this moment it was filled with endless possibilities. “Why Columbia University?” Diye sordum. “Neden? You could’ve gone to any school in the country to play basketball. Why not Kentucky or Duke?”

“Well Ms. Mitchell,” he pulled his fingers through the tail-end of his beard, “as we watch these ducks float, we see their elegance. Their heads are raised high and their posture is strong. Underneath this water their legs are constantly moving. Every moment of every day, right here in this pond, there is a constant struggle for a duck to be a duck.” His metaphor struck me in the middle of my heart. I was the duck floating in the pond. Everyday I struggled just to be myself. “Just to float,” he spoke as if he knew what I was thinking,”A duck does all this just to stay above water.” I quickly responded, “It sure does seem that way.” “And perception, Bayan, Mitchell, to some is reality.” At that moment I kind of understood where he was leading. In his mind he was being perceived as just another basketball player, the number-one recruit in the country. Now because of his stunning decision to accept an academic scholarship, Mujahid had changed who and what he was perceived to be.

“My father has been incarcerated since I was 5 years old.” He stretched his long arms across the top of the wooden bench. His wingspan extended nearly the entire length of the bench. “Için 14 years of my life my father has been behind prison walls. When I was in kindergarten he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for drug charges. At first I cried every night, and would wake up in the morning to watch others sell drugs on almost every street corner in my neighborhood. Some of these guys were my uncles, some my cousins and some were my friends’ babalar. As a kid, when I prayed, I always asked how come it had to be my father who was locked away. I thought selling drugs was normal; just another way to put food on the table. Do you know anything about Islam, Bayan. Mitchell?” The question tied my stomach into knots. I did not expect the question, and at that moment I realized I did not know anything about Islam other than what I heard or read in the mainstream media- Muslims were always at war and they hate america. “Would you like to tell me?” Diye sordum. “Do you know what it means to be Muslim?” he quizzed “It’s fine if you don’t.” He explained that I was not alone and there is a vast number of people across the country who know nothing about Islam and what it means to be Muslim. “Iyi, I must admit to you Mujahid, I do not truly know what it means to be Muslim.” “Iyi, Ms Mitchell, if one continues in ignorance this person will never grow.” He gave me a glowing smile.

A Muslim is a person who has testified there is no deity worthy of worship besides one God (Allah) and that Muhammad is his final slave and messenger. Believing in this statement, we must follow the guidance of the final messenger and worship God in the way that Muhammad had worshipped. Görmek, the perception is that Muslims are angry, deranged and a threat to society. The expectation is that the son of an incarcerated father is most likely to wind up in prison. The expectation is for a young, tall and athletically gifted African American should only dream of playing in the NBA. It is the same expectation for the duck in the pond, for it only to float. Everyday is a struggle to be who I am, to strive become who it is I want to be. I started playing ball to take my mind away from reality. On the court I’m not a thug, a muslim or a terrorist. I am a prospect, a lightning quick guard and sometimes even just a good kid. But this is not my reality either. My reality, Bayan. Mitchell, is what I am perceived to be. I am a tall, black Muslim man who you stared at in amazement the first time you saw me. I am the intelligent, well-spoken Columbia University student who you could not stop smiling at. I am the nigga from the hood who those who look like me, and come from where I come from, think I should always be. You see Ms. Mitchell I am the duck floating on the pond. My head is held high. My demeanor is cool, calm and relaxed. But to many I am nothing more than a sight to be had, to like or dislike, to talk about and criticize. To some I am different. To some I am unique. And to some I am the enemy just because of my religion. Why did I choose Columbia University you ask. If I would have chosen one of the top basketball schools in the country there would be no question as to why.

After a few seconds of searching my mind for a response, I looked at the pond and watched as the ducks swam and quacked as if communicating with each other. “Are you upset with him?” I turned toward Mujahid. “Upset with who?” he asked with his face turned up in confusion. “Your father.” “My father?” “Evet, are you upset with him for being in prison?” Looking at the clouds in the sky, “Bayan. Mitchell I’m from North Philadelphia. My neighborhood is treated as if it’s a toxic waste site. I walk around this campus with my kufi on my head, my robe falling down my body, and I am feared. I can see it in their eyes, hear it in their voices and smell it in the air. Burada, I am the Muslim basketball player. In North Philly I am the good young brother. I could never be upset with my father. I understand who he is. Where I am from, I see him everyday. It is because of him that I am me. My progress is the result of his struggle. I am my father’s dream, the hope of my community and the definition of my culture. This is what I understand about myself. I am supposed to be feared. My actions ought to be predictable. I should be thankful for my opportunities or should I say my athletic ability. This is what America wants from me. The University of Kentucky wishes my name was Todd, Kevin or Mark. Duke University wishes I wasn’t as dark as I am. If it wasn’t for my skill to handle the basketball, my quick release and long wing span, I would have never received any interest, a letter, a phone call, or an invite to visit campus. Since I did, I am lucky. And because I declined, I am ungrateful.

Mujahid’s words took my mind on a ride it had never been on before. Until now I had looked at him as nothing but a big black kid who played basketball. But in this moment I wanted to know as much about him as I possibly could. “What does your name mean?” Diye sordum, “If you do not mind me asking.” “Mujahid means struggling soul and Abdus Samad means slave of Allah.” “Struggling Soul,” I repeated almost in a whisper, “Mujahid.” “Evet, Ms.Mitchell, struggling soul. And everyday, it is a struggle just to be the man I am.”

After the interview, we went our separate ways. I found myself paying attention to life. The birds singing in the trees, flying in the sky. The squirrels playing in the grass. The bees buzzing by. Mujahid Abdus Samad. His name, his eyes and his voice danced in my mind and guided me into the night.

“Ann!” My roommate barged into my space to wake me up the next morning. “Ann,” she scowled, “Ann wake up! You are not going to believe what happened.” I snatched the covers back. “Ne?” Diye sordum, “Ne oldu?” “The campus police they shot and killed someone last night.” “Shot someone? When? Where?” “The basketball player,” my roommate dropped a boulder onto my chest, “The Muslim guy. They said he had a gun.” “Mujahid!” I howled at the top of my lungs. “Değil, not Mujahid!” I cried, cried and cried with my head buried in my palms. No one knew he was alive until he was dead. For most he was simply a mystery floating by. Who is going to march for the struggling soul? Who is going to march for Mujahid?


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