On My Recent Trip to Michigan’s Capitol

My name is Aseel and on October 11, 2022, I traveled to Lansing, Michigan, with my younger sister. The trip was less than 24 hours in length and yet, both worthwhile and informative. The reason that my sister and I drove out to Lansing is that my sister was the recipient of an art award presented by ‘Art in the Legislature’, a statewide initiate. Some artworks were hung on the walls of the Michigan State Senate, whereas other artworks were hung on the walls of the Michigan House of Representatives. My sisters’ artwork, titled ‘Mental Health Matters’ is currently on display on one of the many walls of Michigan’s House of Representatives! It is a computerized image, with a violet background, and in the upper right quadrant lies rug sack carrying a white heart and a few lavender flowers. Her artwork is one of 21 pieces of artwork currently being displayed in the House. I am proud of my sister for she used her artistic talent to bring to light a very important issue affecting not only our local communities, but also, the entire globe: mental health. Mental health not only exists, but it also matters. It always did matter, and it always shall.

While in Lansing, I also had the opportunity to converse with two state representatives. I asked the both of them the following question: “Can I, a Muslim, Hijab-wearing citizen, ever become a state rep?” One of their responses pulled at my heart strings. “Of course, you can. Anyone can. This is the people’s house.” I’m not sure if I ever will enter the realm of public service, but today, at the present moment, I am certain, that I, Aseel, an American born, first-generation, citizen, am capable…am more than capable…of whatever I set my mind to…For the American Dream is truly accessible to all…

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