• Ally Squared

My Identity, My Choice

Being Canadian, and of a mixed Moroccan and Iraqi-Kurdish descent, my parents each made the decision of not teaching me their first languages. This unknowingly created a cultural disparity and never was I fully immersed in one particular culture; this intersectionality, would lead to an exclusion from traditions and practices of my nationality, and heritage throughout my life.

Being Canadian, and of a mixed Moroccan and Iraqi-Kurdish descent, my parents each made the decision of not teaching me their first languages. 


This unknowingly created a cultural disparity and never was I fully immersed in one particular culture; this intersectionality, would lead to an exclusion from traditions and practices of my nationality, and heritage throughout my life. 


I felt more Canadian than anything, but this was often not socially accepted due to my background. While taking part in fundamentally Canadian traditions, I was never met without a remark, or a reaction that what I was doing was something normal as a Canadian. « stick to soccer- maybe hockey, or football is not your thing. »


Revolting against the exclusion of Canadian culture, I decided again to get closer to my Mediterranean side; I grew out my hair until shoulder length. Thus was the beginning of the hair remarks.

"Your hair is so exotic, can I touch it?" "Is that your natural hair?" "You must not be from here, with hair like that." 

Microaggressions are insulting- they can turn into, and usually are, rooted in something bigger. With the push to educate and help understand why these statements are wrong, they can be stopped, allowing people to rethink their words, and questions.



Dylan Hawari is in his first year at the University of Ottawa, currently studying Conflict Studies and Human Rights. On top of activism, Dylan loves spending his time with animals and also loves art.

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Through our work to navigate the positive and negative consequences of speaking up in real-life situations, we envision a world where people know how to practice allyship and are prepared to do so. We see a world full of empowered people who are their own allies as well as allies for others.

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