The Women's March | Washington, D.C.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of marching alongside people from all over the globe for the Women's March in Washington, D.C. The experience was otherworldly, magical to say the least. Growing up in the Washington Metro area, my family and I were at a rally or protest in front of the White House every other weekend. It was critical for my parents to teach us about justice and equality from a young age.

Having been the most invested in this presidential campaign, the March meant more to me than Trump becoming President. It was more about unity and voice. A reporter from Barcelona asked me yesterday why I was there and honestly, the real question should've been how could I not have been there? Washington is in my backyard and my attendance felt necessary. No matter how small my voice may be, I have an obligation to share that voice and fight for those who cannot. I marched in solidarity with women of color, immigrants, refugees, Muslims, and all other underrepresented communities in this country and around the world. On our very cozy metro ride, I met people who'd flown in from California, Indiana, Florida and drove in from North Carolina, South Carolina, New York.

I marched alongside my good friend Shereen and as veiled Muslim women, we got some passionate "Thank you for being here's" and endless smiles from people who were there for the same reasons we were. Getting off the metro and seeing the sea of people walking towards the Capitol building was overwhelming. They were all here because they chose love over hate, unity over divisiveness. Not one stare or backhanded comment (something I've gotten used to). It was all love and smiles in a giant sea of pink hats and hijabs.

Although seeing the stage (or let alone the screen broadcasting) and hearing the speakers was close to impossible, the feeling of support and love wrapped me up like a warm winter blanket. Fuzzy feelings aside, this is not the end of people coming together in opposition of bigotry. If anything this march showed me just how imperative it is for me as a Muslim, an American, and as a human to be vocal in my fight for justice, peace and equality.    

Disclaimer: The photos below may show some language. All photos were taken by me unless noted otherwise.

Rawan Elbaba