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Lamyaa, a 17-year-old from Pennsylvania, has gotten used to harassment from strangers online.

Much of the time, their target is her Muslim faith.

Photo courtesy of Lamyaa.


"Personally, being an Arab Muslim woman in America, these sort of hateful messages aren't uncommon," she explains.

On April 14, 2017, Lamyaa tweeted a revolting message she'd received from a stranger.

It read: "Stop defending Islam Bit*h shut up you couldn't take that scarf off or your dad would beat your as*."

By "scarf," of course, the person was alluding to Lamyaa's hijab — a head covering worn by some Muslim women as an expression of their faith.

Lamyaa decided to text her dad and ask him what he'd do if she did, in fact, decide not to wear her hijab — and his response made her tweet go viral.

She posted their conversation:

Lamyaa: Baba, I want to tell you something.
Lamyaa's father: Talk to me [asks her if she's OK in Arabic]
Lamyaa: Yeah I'm okay. I was thinking. I want to take my hijab off.
Lamyaa's father:Sweetheart that's not my decision to make. That's no man's decision to make. If it's what you feel like you want to do, go ahead. I'll support you no matter what. Is everything okay? Did something happen?


Since Lamyaa posted the offensive message along with her conversation with her father, her tweet has been liked and retweeted hundreds of thousands of times.

"I have gotten many heartwarming messages of people showing me support, but also of people wanting to learn more about Islam or wanting to be a part of it," she explains. "I felt like I could help in a way, and it was very humbling."

Lamyaa is using the attention to clear up harmful stereotypes about Islam, Muslim women — and men — and the hijab.

"People believe that Islam is misogynistic, hateful, or violent, and I think that stems from their inability to differentiate culture and religion," she explains. "Islam is a religion and, like all religions, it is what you bring to it."

Photo via iStock.

For instance, some women are forced to wear a hijab, and that's a "horrible" form of oppression, the teen later pointed out on Twitter. But many Muslim women, like Lamyaa, wear one because they choose to — for a wide variety of empowering and personal reasons.

"I wear my hijab because it is sacred to me," Lamyaa says. "It displays my connection to my faith and God. When I have the hijab on, I act kinder and I am more aware of what I say and do. This is because not only am I representing myself, but I am representing a faith much bigger than me."

"If I had one thing to say to people who have misconceptions about Islam, it would be: Speak to a Muslim," Lamyaa says.

"Have a conversation with a Muslim. Many of us are willing to answer any questions and clear up any misconceptions. Muslims are not some separate group. We are a part of America. We are people."

Brandon Conway sounds remarkably like Michael Jackson when he sings.

When Michael Jackson died 13 years ago, the pop music world lost a legend. However markedly mysterious and controversial his personal life was, his contributions to music will go down in history as some of the most influential of all time.

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1989 video brings back strong memories for Gen Xers who came of age in the '80s.

It was the year we saw violence in Tiananmen Square and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. The year we got Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally" and Michael Keaton in Tim Burton's "Batman." The year "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" debuted on TV, with no clue as to how successful they would become. The year that gave us New Kids on the Block and Paula Abdul while Madonna and Janet Jackson were enjoying their heyday.

The jeans were pegged, the shoulders were padded and the hair was feathered and huge. It was 1989—the peak of Gen X youth coming of age.

A viral video of a group of high school students sitting at their desks in 1989—undoubtedly filmed by some geeky kid in the AV club who probably went on to found an internet startup—has gone viral across social media, tapping straight into Gen X's memory banks. For those of us who were in high school at the time, it's like hopping into a time machine.

The show "Stranger Things" has given young folks of today a pretty good glimpse of that era, but if you want to see exactly what the late '80s looked like for real, here it is:

Oh so many mullets. And the Skid Row soundtrack is just the icing on this nostalgia cake. (Hair band power ballads were ubiquitous, kids.)

I swear I went to high school with every person in this video. Like, I couldn't have scripted a more perfect representation of my classmates (which is funny considering that this video came from Paramus High School in New Jersey and I went to high school on the opposite side of the country).

Comments have poured in on Reddit from both Gen Xers who lived through this era and those who have questions.

First, the confirmations:

"Can confirm. I was a freshman that year, and not only did everyone look exactly like this (Metallica shirt included), I also looked like this. 😱😅"

"I graduated in ‘89, and while I didn’t go to this school, I know every person in this room."

"It's like I can virtually smell the AquaNet and WhiteRain hairspray from here...."

"I remember every time you went to the bathroom you were hit with a wall of hairspray and when the wind blew you looked like you had wings."

Then the observations about how differently we responded to cameras back then.

"Also look how uncomfortable our generation was in front of the camera! I mean I still am! To see kids now immediately pose as soon as a phone is pointed at them is insanity to me 🤣"

"Born in 84 and growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s, it’s hard to explain to younger people that video cameras weren’t everywhere and you didn’t count on seeing yourself in what was being filmed. You just smiled and went on with your life."

Which, of course, led to some inevitable "ah the good old days" laments:

"Life was better before the Internet. There, I said it."

"Not a single cell phone to be seen. Oh the freedom."

"It's so nice to be reminded what life was like before cell phones absorbed and isolated social gatherings."

But perhaps the most common response was how old those teens looked.

"Why do they all look like they're in their 30's?"

"Everyone in this video is simultaneously 17 and 49 years old."

"Now we know why they always use 30 y/o actors in high school movies."

As some people pointed out, there is an explanation for why they look old to us. It has more to do with how we interpret the fashion than how old they actually look.

Ah, what a fun little trip down memory lane for those of us who lived it. (Let's just all agree to never bring back those hairstyles, though, k?)