Legal Fund For My #MeToo Lawsuit

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Raised by 25 people in 13 months
In 2009, while I worked under an AmeriCorps contract at The Arab American Association, Linda Sarsour was the acting director of the organization as I was being harassed by an individual by the name of Masked Seif While volunteering there the prior few months in 2008, I had barely any dealings with Linda Sarsour, I had seen her once or twice there but honestly had no idea what her position was and was only told that Lamese Bader was my direct supervisor. I started noticing Majed Seif around the office in late January of 2009, he seemed to be a strange looking character and I asked one of my coworkers if he worked there or if he was just passing through and was told he didn't work there but lived upstairs from the office.

Then the stalking began. Seif stalked me to and from work, he stalked me within the office where I had worked. He started sneaking up on me and showing up in doorways, hallways, cornered me up against the wall. I spoke to my supervisor Lamese Bader and she spoke to him and asked him to stay away from me. Majed seemed to listen to Lamese and stayed away from me, until she went on maternity leave. That's when things got a bit worse. He would sneak up behind me, pin me up against walls, and the worst was when he would sneak up behind me making it loud and clear to me that he was fully erect. I started to go to Linda each time something occurred, and there were times where I was verbally reprimanded by her when she'd hear me scream.

I was told by Linda Sarsour that I was over reacting, that no one would believe me because something like this wouldn't happen to someone who looked like me, that Seif had every right to be wherever he wanted within the building even though he did not work there. I was also told by the president of the organization, Dr. Ahmed Jaber, that Majed was a good Muslim and was always at the Mosque and I wasn't his type. Linda eventually informed me that Majed had every right to sue me for defamation for putting in complaints about him.

In August of 2009, I reported Majed Seif to my AmeriCorps supervisors at ACCESS out in Michigan only to be called a liar and an attention seeker, was also informed by them and Linda that I would be written up for making complaints. I was then approached by the Muslim Community Liaison Detective within the NYPD, Detective Ahmed Nasser , letting me know that he had the intention to arrest me for making false claims. Detective Nasser was a well-known fixture within the organization and was known for coming in to see how we were and maybe crack a joke or two. But that afternoon, what I thought was a friend approaching me to talk, turned into nothing more than another chapter to my nightmare.

Detective Nasser came in as the office was emptying out for an award ceremony we were holding for the children for completing the summer program that was to be held at Salam Arabic Lutheran Church of Brooklyn a few blocks down. I was still at the office finishing up the kids certificates when Detective Nasser came into my office, locked the door, placed his handcuffs on my desk and proceeded to inform me that he was there to arrest me for making false statements. I realized that he was not joking, and his words were in reference to the conversation that occurred with the supervisor from ACCESS as well as Linda. I slowly and calmly had to talk him out of arresting me informing him that he had told me about a week before in front of another officer turned detective, Detective Mona Suazo, that he was aware that I had a stalker at work, and that he had told me that he would keep an eye out for me. I told him what Majed was doing to me and kindly pointed out to him that I was the victim and should not have any of this happen to me.

I did see Detective Nasser around a few times over the years, each time he'd gesture to me with his hand that I had to be front and center and place a kiss on his cheek where his finger tapped until you complied. I would see him at events, political or community oriented.

It wasn't until the last time that I saw him during the summer of 2013 when he starting complaining about how his boss was preventing his promotion and moving up in the ranks. I felt like that was some sort of karma considering I was stuck in a situation where I hadn't been able to obtain full time employment since I had worked for Linda.

To recap, Linda Sarsour made it known to me that I was not allowed to complain, I was crying for attention, and that I was lying because I was a woman of a particular size, something like this would never in a million years happen to me. Linda swore I would never work in New York City ever again for as long as she lives.

Women who fail to support other women, but instead question their veracity, belittle them, women who betray their own gender, who trash female victims and accuse them of shakedowns or some murky motive are as dangerous as sexual abusers themselves. Women function in a world that too often treats them like prey, clips their wings, burdens them with tormented memories of fear and shame. There are enough men in power using and abusing it against women, cajoling and taking, berating and threatening, trapping and menacing. Why are women treating other women that way? Are we becoming our own worst enemy? I experience this as a somewhat taboo topic among women – fearful that we are blaming ourselves again, and adding fuel to gender stereotypes, but this is our reality that we need to wake up and change.

Linda Sarsour is only out there for one particular right, her own to do whatever she pleases no matter what happens to those around her and no matter who she has to step on along the way to climb that ladder. She is but an illusion that everyone is afraid of calling unreal because that would mean you would have to face your own mind and soul regarding the false idol that you yourself helped create. Linda Sarsour is no one's friend, and would sooner have you put away in handcuffs for standing up for your rights than stand next to you and help you along the way. People don't stand up to Linda because they are afraid of being doubted and called crazy or labeled attention seekers, Islamophobes, right wing, alt-right, right wing Zionists, misogynists, character assassins, and what not.

Sexual abuse, assault and predation transcends politics and party loyalty. From top to bottom and left to right it is wrong regardless who is doing it, and we should for once escape political polarization by virtue of the plague's depressing ubiquity. It's crucial that we continue to speak up and out sexual harassers. But we must also out the women in the room who continue to fail us all. Linda is one of them.

It's hard to deny the reward for silence, for not supporting women who report harassment. Sadly, Linda Sarsour is an example of this. Silence like hers ensures continued inequality of women in the workplace and in many other places, and puts women in danger. That is unacceptable.

I was thinking about not saying anything at all because by all available metrics that's the safest, easiest way to go. But I can no longer remain silent. It does come with a price though. Since I've come out with my story I've been sent messages from people from all over the world telling me I should be in jail. I've been fat shammed, told I should apologize to Linda Sarsour if I wanted people to support my story. I was told I was doing this for attention, that I was working for the right wing in a smear campaign against Linda. I was told that the only reason I am on the news was because Linda put me there. My family is scared because they are aware of her reach. I still have not been able to obtain any sort of stable employment. But on the upside, with the help of Assemblyman Dov Hikind and other good people, there has been a formal complaint placed with the Commissioner's office regarding the mishandling of things by Detective Nasser.

This is a painful one for me. I take no salary and have now taken on another non-paying service venture: unmasking Linda Sarsour and the others in this story, and fighting enablers of sexual abuse, what will strongly impact victims for the better. I am already doing it, and I'm not going to stop, but I also can't afford to do it without help. I am fighting deep feelings of fear throughout this process, result of having been shamed an threatened. I have a strong inner voice condemning me for not doing better, for not being farther along, for not being self-sufficient. I'm fighting that voice right here, right now, exposing it to you all before it is healed in me. I need to ask for help. I know the embarrassment will transform through the process, and I have learned that I'm worthy, that the way I've done things is right for me and my family, and that asking for the support of people is okay, that I don't have to pretend to be okay.

​So, laying my troubled soul bare here for you all today, I'm asking for support, small tokens of support and shares for more small tokens, so I can support myself in this extremely industrious time in my life, help empower all traumatized beings – that means, everybody, and take serious measures including legal proceedings against those who were involved in sweeping this incident under the rug, defaming and threatening me. If you've made it this far in my essay, I would like to thank you for indulging me, and thank you in advance for your love and support.
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Raised by 25 people in 13 months
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