Zainab. Twenty-five. Born and raised Houstonian. The child of immigrants, the grandchild of warriors, identifying as Muslim, Algerian, American. Lover of conversations and copious amounts of laughter. Fourth year medical student seeking an Internal Medicine residency. Passionate about health policies, women empowerment, the care of the underserved, the underrepresented, global health, and medical humanities.

I write a lot, think a lot. I romanticize, and at times I hate it because I’m afraid of giving a false image, but other times I’m blessed to see the world through rose colored filters. It’s that romanticism, and an uncompromising optimism, that makes who I am, that takes these stories I write and concludes them with a silver lining. It isn’t my intention, it just happens. Alhamdulillah.

I share. I believe there is strength in honesty, vulnerability, resilience, of loving deeply and caring profoundly. I believe there is strength in quiet moments of reflection, in being self-aware, striving, balancing. I do not shy away from politics, being a woman of color, seeking justice, fighting oppression, and using my voice to let it be known. There is too much going on in the world to let it happen silently.

I’ll leave you with a reflection-once, while reviewing the chart of one of my patients, I found something so simple yet absolutely remarkable written-“Patient has conquered her symptoms”. It was the first time I saw something humanly written in our scientific charts, and I smiled. We conquer. That’s what we do. We take what life throws at us, fidget, stumble, sometimes fall, and rarely will it be solved smoothly, but at the end we conquer.

So I guess this is where I record a whole bunch of my fidgeting, stumbling, falling, and sometimes smooth sailing, and I’m not sure when I’m going to conquer, but I know it’s a work in progress. I’m glad you’re here, to share this journey of life with me.