Muslim Girls Making Change is a youth slam poetry group created by Kiran Waqar, Hawa Adam, Lena Ginawi, and Balkisa Abdikadir whose core mission is social justice through poetry. The quartet first gained attention in 2016 during the international slam poetry competition Brave New Voices in Washington DC. Last Sunday, they were invited to perform at the St. John’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church in Stowe, Vermont.
One poem the girls performed was called “Welcome” featuring Lady Liberty begging to “truly make me great again” by welcoming immigrants from Syria. “My bloodline is thicker than oceans,” recites Lady Liberty (performed by Hawa Adam). “My torch is lit for you. … Come swim in this liquor of liberty.” The other three girls respond: “We’re a threat, aren’t we? Scary, dangerous, foreign. Knock, knock. We’re here.”
The themes the girls speak about has to do with race, religion and being a young Muslim woman. Take their popular poem called “Hiajb 101.” As they recite: “She be rockin’ that hijab… Can I see your hair?” And in a dramatic whisper, “Does your dad make you wear it?”
After the show, Nancy Banks, who is part of the leadership of the Unitarian Universalists of Stowe, called the girls’ poetry “fresh, honest and… amazing.”