Mariam de Haan

Rookie - 124 Points (04 October 1993 / Pemba, Tanzania)

Ask Yourself - Poem by Mariam de Haan

What would you do if your classmate said
I didn't get the job because they don't hire women.
As if vaginas rip open and swallow customers.
Or if your friend told you he still hasn't got an internship
Even though classmates with lower grades have.
He says with frustration in his eyes and a smile,
'Maybe it's because I'm Somali
And my passport says birthplace Mogadishu.
Add on my Islamic name and.
They probably think I'm a terrorist or some pirate escapee.'
Yet Dutch Labour Law states
It does not discriminate against sex or nationality.
So are these laws not practiced?

What would you do if a friend told you
'But because of your Dutch name you get chosen for interviews.'
I remember how an interviewer looked at me, saw my scarf and sighed
Told me 'your resume is fine but your image doesn't fit.'
I remember how I cursed my name that night.
Thinking if it was Abdullah I wouldn't even get picked,
And I wouldn't have any hopes for them to crush.

What would you do if your friend told you
'I have to hide my David star
because otherwise random Arab men insult me.'
And you find on the internet this amazing info graphic
That shows the death toll of Palestinians vs. Israelis.
Say I should share it because I too want to free Palestine.
But you wonder, will what I share help spread hate?
Will it really free Palestine or light more flames?
And you remember how she hid her star
Tucked it in her bosom before she said goodbye.

Topic(s) of this poem: discrimination

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, August 2, 2014

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