Uniting the city's teens to create an outlet to inform, communicate, and provide positive change through written expression

Stories by ‘Mariam Bah’

This Is Me; This Is Not Me

I ache with this…

Words scream out of my mouth with no meaning.

There is no sound compared  to the things I seem to say.

I am sorry it is meaner than it seems to be.

Unfortunately, I cannot pretend  to be happy When I am not.

This is not me.

Anger does not fill my young veins.

Hatred should not live in my wild heart.

I should never have to endure this stupid, pitiful feeling,

This feeling that detaches me from myself. This bone-chilling mask of carelessness.



I am an egg,

A carefree one, in fact. This is me.

I can’t sing, but I love to sing.

I write because it is my passion.

I love too easily and forgive others before myself.

I seek diversity in life and embrace  all that meets me.

I get shy but not for too long because I want others to feel my difference.

I smile at the sunset because, oh wow, you’re one of a kind.

I am sorry that those of you who do not know me,

Let me laugh for every reason and not just one.

I love the adventure-seeking and dreams.


But for now,

Let me grieve, let me sleep, leave me alone.

For he is gone to never return.

Imagine John Lennon

“Imagine all the people living life in peace/ You may say I’m a dreamer/But I’m not the only one/I hope someday you’ll join us/ And the world will be as one.” ~ John Lennon

I first learned about John Lennon through a school exhibition on the 1960’s. I researched ’60s music and art and finally came across The Beatles. Immediately, amongst the members, Lennon stood out the most to me — not just as part of the popular band but because he was a musical pioneer and a peaceful man. He introduced the world to rock and roll through his message of peace and love.

Yet Lennon was very seditious in trying to change social values that negatively affected society. The lyrical tone to his music was sensational. His work is marked by intense beauty and extreme honesty.

As a solo artist, he often wrote music about important world issues, such as war and religion. This is why it was extremely melancholy when he was murdered by a crazed fan 34 years ago next month. He spoke his mind through his music and now people are never going to hear more about what he has to say.

I have three John Lennon T-shirts and a poster of him hangs in my bedroom. I am trying to convey to people that this passionate being of peace is no longer here because we now live in a corrupted world of anger and desolation.

Pretty cool

Teens choose personality over looks

AFH art by Patricia Romelus

AFH art by Patricia Romelus

Fourteen-year-old Matty Jobarteh, from Hyde Park, thinks someone’s appearance makes an impression but personality keeps it going.

“If someone looks pretty, people are going to make them memorable but if the person is arrogant and irritating, it doesn’t make any sense,” says Jobarteh.

Even though we all want to look good and are attracted to physical beauty, many teens say that personality is the more important asset. Someone with great features may turn heads in a crowded room, but, teens say, it’s those whose personalities draw us to them who will win our deep affection and esteem.

Lansana Fofana, 15, from Dorchester, thinks physical appearance is a very shallow thing.

“For example, someone can get into a terrible accident and destroy their looks and also people grow old – their good looks start to vanish,” says Fofana. “What is left? Personality.”

Bintou Conte, 16, from Mattapan, believes that looks do matter at some point because if you’re going to marry somebody, appearance counts.

On the other hand, she says: “Those who have the best personalities are the winners in life.”

Hijab: Why I don’t wear It

I’m a believer. I practice Islam every day. I pray. I speak of Allah. I read the Quran. However, I don’t wear the Hijab, which symbolizes modesty.

As a believer, it is inadmissible to do something that has to do with God just because people are forcing you. Wearing the hijab is a request from God himself — not from your parents or anyone else. I believe that it is much more important to do it for you and for your God because, at the end of the day, when we die, everyone is going to lie alone in different tombs.

I never grew up wearing the hijab. Up until I turned 12, my parents never said anything about it. Why should I suddenly start wearing it? It’s almost like going outside without clothing — you are not comfortable doing it.

Several years from now, when I’m married let’s say, I’ll probably change my mind because I will feel mentally ready to choose to wear it. I won’t have my mom and dad wanting me to put it on – only myself and my God.