10 Arab Americans Urging you to Vote: Lama Kawsara
By: Diala Ghneim/Arab America Contributing Writer
I spoke with ten Arab Americans about voting. These individuals come from different age groups, industries, and political orientations. They are teachers, lawyers, students, stay at home mothers, IT professionals, etc…. They are active members of American society and they are all voting on November 3rd. This article is Lama Kawsara’s interview, and one of a series of ten articles (one for each interview).
You can find your state and register to vote here.
Lama Kawsara, 30, Stay-at-Home Mom
Tell me about your background, career and immigration story.
My name is Lama Kawsara. I was born in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 1990. My parents are originally from Syria but have been living in Dubai for several years before deciding to immigrate to the US. For many reasons, my grandparents moved to America and my parents wanted to live in close proximity with them, so they immigrated to the US. I was 1 when we arrived in Fort Worth, Texas.
I studied education in college and was teaching for a short while before getting married. After having my own children, I chose to become a stay-at-home mom and be fully present for my kids. I did, however, start my own doula career earlier this year. Doula means labor and birth support. I consider myself an advocate for informed birth after I had my own children.
Why are you voting? What are the issues you care most about?
I am voting because it is my right and privilege as an American citizen to do so. Women fought hard in history for our voices to be heard. It would be a huge disservice to them to not participate and cast a vote.
I vote for what I feel is right for the future of my children. I want to make sure the world we leave them in is safe. Their freedoms should remain protected and their right to pursue happiness must stay secured.
When voting for a candidate, I pay the most attention to their domestic issue stances. School choice is a main one for me. School choice is about allowing public education funds to follow students to the schools that best fit their own needs. There is huge room for flexibility when is comes to school choice. I can choose the best suited learning environment for my children, it could either be a public school, private school, charter school or home schooling.
Another issue that I care about is protecting the second amendment. I believe we have the right to bear arms and protect ourselves. Medical freedom, protecting religious exemptions and putting an end to child sex trafficking are also at the top of my list too. I am actually very passionate about putting an end to child sex trafficking.
My vote will also go for the candidate who prioritizes these domestic issues.
In your opinion, what are the challenges that face the Arab/Muslim community in the US?
As a Muslim in America I feel our ability to practice our religion is and will always be protected by the first amendment. As long as we protect the constitution as American citizens, our freedom of religion will remain safe.
What would you tell people from your community who believe their votes won’t make a difference?
I would tell them ‘American Muslims have many opportunities in America. We can study, open businesses and travel. We can also be active and essential members within our own communities’ . That would have not been possible if we did not vote. Our presence in American society is important. Our voice already carries a lot of weight, and all of that is reflect by our votes. Keep on voting.
Parting words for all stay at home mothers on voting.
Mothers, either working, staying-at-home or doing both, are raising the next generation of American Muslim citizens. Our children grow up seeing and looking up to us, whether it’s being at home, working, or getting degrees while simultaneously being active members in this great nation. We owe it to them now to show why our voices, even if they are small can make a big difference. My advice to all stay-at-home mothers is: go vote and make a difference.
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