Interviews by Hailey Bullis and Rachel Emmons
Organization: Answers by MWC President Fizza Fatima
What is the Muslim Writers Collective?
Fizza Fatima: The Muslim Writers Collective(MWC) is a platform designed to shed a light on minority voices and writers of color, Muslim writers in particular, and the goal is to reclaim the American Muslim narrative because it’s been taken and turned into something that it’s not and there hasn’t really been a space for this said narrative. So the goal of the MWC is to provide a space.
Why is MWC important?
Fatima: It’s important because given current social dynamics regarding views of Muslims in America it’s important that we have a platform in order to have a voice in the dialogue, because right now there seems to be a lot of talking at Muslims and talking about Muslims and few Muslims are getting the chance to be able to talk. It’s also important to show the multifaceted nature of the Muslim community, because it gets boxed in.
What is MWC’s proudest accomplishment?
Fatima: So far, it’s been our Open Mic nights. The highest turn-out we’ve had probably is up to 60 people. It’s great because it fosters a sense of community, it brings together all types of different writers and all types of different artists and it’s not just limited to Muslim artists, it’s limited to any artist that feels like they’ve been marginalized or who feel they haven’t had a space to share their voices. It’s a welcoming community and it’s a lot of fun and I feel like it does help to create a community of writers and artists of color. I think that would be the proudest accomplishment, that sense of community.
Lyra McCarmey, junior
Majoring in Music Technology
What are your hobbies and interests?
McCarmey: I do a lot of Quantum Physics, I’m a musician I play a bunch of different instruments, produce a lot of music, do live-audio engineering, I unicycle a lot, I do archery, fencing, martial arts, I like painting . All sorts of different things.
Can you tell me about your music?
McCarmey: I’ve been producing music since early high school/late junior high so I started out just producing, making beats and everything and getting into that and now i’m a mix engineer at a recording studio back home in California. So I work there over the summers and do remote mixing here. I’m also on the university music production record label here called Mason Noise so I’m an engineer and producer for them. We work on different projects, one project every semester, so that’s really fun and I’m also the live audio engineer for Green Machine.
What would you say is your favorite thing to do out of all your interests and hobbies?
McCarmey: Anything creative I think. Anything artistic and creative probably. Like painting or even just exploring. I love exploring D.C. and finding the different parts.
How did you become the sound engineer for the Green Machine?
McCarmey: I’m majoring in Music Technology. I originally intended to do vocals for Green Machine and then the vocal coach was like, “Hey this is Sully he’s the audio engineer. I heard you do audio too.” and I was like “Yes!” so I started doing it and never stopped and I love it so much.
Staff: Anthony McLean
Q: If you could go back in time to the first day of college and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?
A: You’re going to like frisbee more than you think you will… or more than you think you do. Because I guess my first few weeks of going to ultimate practice, I continually told myself, like I would question with my roommate and be like, ‘Why am I doing this?’, like this is not that fun, learning a new sport is not the easiest. You’re balancing the fact that you’re now living on campus and that you’re in a new environment, and also trying to learn a new sport on top of that, I remember, it was right after our first tournament, and I was like, ‘I’m done,’ I don’t want to play this. It’s not that fun.
But I still went back, surprisingly. So I’d definitely say everything is going to work out, everything is going to be okay.
Q: If you got a tattoo, what would you get, why, and where?
A: So I had started to say that if I ever got a chance to play on one of the Team USA Ultimate teams, I would get the USA logo that USA Ultimate has. I think I would get it just to show that significance. To say that this is what I worked for and worked up to and was finally able to achieve.
Where? Probably on my forearm. Probably on my throwing arm.
I also always said if Ultimate ends up being an Olympic sport, and if I ever get to play, I would get the Olympic circle logo, with the five of them, and I would put them right here [gesturing to forearm].
Q: If your home was burning down and all living things were safe, what would you save?
A: So this is going to make me sound really, really materialistic to say, but I would save my shoe collection. Because I guess it’s one of those where I used to be a really hardcore sneakerhead, I was buying pairs of shoes like it was nobody’s business. I was on Footlocker and Nike.com, easily every other day just looking at different pairs, different deals on eBay, looking at what people were selling. And I’ve stopped, I’m not as into that as I was, but right now I have like 20, 25 pairs of shoes, and I had upwords of 40, and I’ve definitely sold some, and gave some of them away, and I think that’s what I would save, because I spent so much time buying them, and putting money and effort into them, so that’s what I would save.
Q: Who is your biggest role model in life?
A: In life in general, I would say there are two. I would say, very classic, my mom and my grandmom are my biggest role models that I have, just because they are very genuine people and are very willing to help others and are always there for me when I need it and they are just both wonderful, fantastic people, and I love them unconditionally.