Teen spoken word poet Marjan Naderi is elevating the Muslim community and telling the stories of women through her art.
“I write because I know the narrative that I hold, and I’m aware for how often the narrative of an Afghan women, as a Muslim woman is kind of shoved to the back of the closet,” she said.
Naderi has won plenty of accolades for her poetry, which highlights the stories, struggles and successes of Afghani and Muslim individuals, like her mother.
“My mother is definitely a role model to me,” she said. “She always emphasized on education and to always be pushing against that current.”
She often feels that she’s “never American enough” because of her heritage, but also feels she’s not “Afghan enough” because she did not grow up in the country. Nonetheless less she says she loves being Afghani American and loves the U.S. despite its anatomization of Muslim people.
When reciting her poetry, she says she always leaves the stage with a smile, even after reciting a particularly heavy poem, a feeling she thinks will never fade as she continues to perform.
“As I go on, I just see more of my identity coming to light,” she said.