“I want to wear it
I am a diamond
I shine like starlight
Through the darkness of the night”
-from “Diamond (I Want to Wear It)”
created by students from Northeast High School
Since 2017, LiveConnections has partnered with HIAS PA to create songwriting workshops for immigrant and refugee teenagers in our city. Most of these students—from Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Ukraine, Iraq and more—have been in the U.S. for three years or less.
It’s an incredibly challenging time to be an immigrant teen in the U.S. It takes courage.
That’s why we love the song “Diamond.” It came from a story Salawat told about not being allowed to wear her hijab in middle school, and how she stood up for her beliefs. She got to wear her hijab, and together with other students we celebrated her courage in this song.
We love when music becomes a chance for kids to meet challenges with creativity.
Students are currently working on a new song called “When the World Comes Around.” They’re looking bravely to the future. The chorus says “I can feel it coming / Something here is changing / It’s a new beginning.”
These young people want to make change.
You can help support their courage and celebrate their songs.
Salawat performs with teaching artist Ami Yares at LiveConnections’ Big Hurrah fundraising event in the fall of 2018. [Image: Conrad Erb Photography]