Just Who Is Yarima Karama

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I always felt different, like I didn't belong. Maybe it's because at an early age I was made to feel like I was different by people, and when people makes you feel like an outcast it's hard to go out into the larger society and feel normal. At least that was the case for me. People looked at me differently, people told me I was too quiet, told me that because I was quiet that meant I was sneaky. I was quiet, I'm an introvert, but I wasn't sneaky I was just very observant. I never wanted others to really observe me doing anything for fear that they would ridicule me or make me think that because I wasn't doing it like them I wasn't doing it right. I admit I had my own unique, awkward way of doing certain things, but it worked for me and therefore I tried to keep me hidden as much as possible because I didn't want to be changed or be made to do it like somebody else. I won't talk about the abuse I endured because it's over with now. What I will say is that everything I've ever been through in my life up to this point has molded and sculpted me into the person I am now. Definitely not perfect and not trying to be. Still doing things in my own way, sometimes awkwardly, but the difference is now I'm grown, now I don't care who passes judgement, now I'm not going to get smacked in the face because I don't do it like somebody else may want. Now my attitude is, if a person doesn't like my style or like me, or like the way I do me, too bad, because I sleep with me at night and me is who I have to be comfortable with.
After Yarima did a 2-hour workshop with one of our youth groups a young man by the name of Jimmy pulled me aside afterward and said that he liked what he heard, liked how Yarima engaged everyone and really made them think and come up with real answers to some of the problems that they face daily. He said he would definitely be back for the next workshop.
- Diane GainesColumbus Urban League