Focused on breaking barriers and starting a dialogue on taboo topics, a town hall meeting for Muslim youth is the first of its kind in central Ohio.
The event, held Saturday in an auditorium at the Ohio State University, featured a panel discussion on the issues facing Muslim youth today.
“We all need to be on the same page,” organizer and My USA founder Zerqa Abid said.
“We really care and want to address the issues here.”
One panelist, Jasmin Osman, shared a dark story but one she was eventually able to escape.
“I was sent for being too western, I was sent for wearing clothes that are not appropriate,” Osman said.
After being sent to Somalia by her parents to remove some of her ‘Western’ ways, Jasmin is sharing what she really endured – abuse.
“I have people telling me they have been through the same thing; I have people say they've been raped”
Organizers are hoping stories of abuse, drug abuse and mental illness will propel the message that you are not alone and will help remove the stigma of tough conversations.
“Our community has come to the point where we feel like if we will talk about any of these issues it will look bad on our community and I think we in 2019 should where our youth should be able to come forward and discuss these issues,” Abid said.