This is most definitely not the blog post I wanted to write the day after Election Day 2016. Nonetheless, the results are in and now the most important question we ask ourselves is "how do we move on?"

This has been a divisive and nasty (excuse the reference) campaign season. We've heard talk against practically every minority group in the United States: Muslims, African Americans, the LGBT community, people with disabilities, women, Mexicans, immigrants, refugees and more. So how do we find the motivation to get up, dust ourselves off, and move on from the fact that a man won the election based on the fact that he held values of hate, bigotry, misogyny and xenophobia? How do we find a way to see past a humiliating loss to Donald Trump and a loss to divisiveness?

The answer, albeit coming after a night of tears and painful hurt, is simple. We organize, we band together, and we fight. We look at what went wrong and we find the solutions. We, the Muslims, we, the Arab Americans, we the African Americans, we, the immigrants, we the Latinos, we the refugees, we the disabled, we the women will not despair. We'll join together and form a bond stronger than history has ever seen. We'll use our unique skills to share our message which is unity and progress. We, as teachers, students, filmmakers, doctors, engineers will work our way through the next four years to have a darn good answer to "what's next?" Hate will NOT win again. I simply CANNOT stand by any longer and watch my fellow citizens run this country on narrow-minded, racist, Islamophobic ideals. We simply won't stand for it. We are now stronger than ever with a newly formed coalition of powerful, active voices. No one should expect us to move anywhere. We're staying here, right where we belong in OUR country, where the government is run BY the people NOT the other way around. 

To my fellow community members, we've fought a long and hard campaign season and our hard work shouldn't go unnoticed. I'm incredibly proud of my mosque, community center and the Arab American Institute who went above and beyond to get people registered and out the door on November 8th. You guys were the real MVPs. You haven't seen the last of us. 

Rawan Elbaba