Opening Up To Saying Goodbye


The first piece I wrote for The Muhlenberg Weekly was published on Oct. 31, 2019. It was titled, “Opening Up to Discomfort.” It was about my experiences of being in a heavily white space, like Muhlenberg, as someone who was born and raised in Brooklyn. I remember seeing it in the paper and feeling so validated. I felt honored for not simply just being in the paper but for also paying homage to my people and where I come from. That day, I fell in love with storytelling. I fell in love with using my words to create bridges. I fell in love with using my experiences to help others feel less alone. When I reflect on my time at The Muhlenberg Weekly, I’m buoyed by a powerful feeling; the feeling of coveting a vessel. As a young Queer Black man at a PWI, I entered The Weekly needing a space to hold my emotions whilst giving air to its nuances. I also wanted to infuse this desire into the bones of the Op/Ed section. I told myself that I would dedicate this section to giving life to the stories of Queer voices and voices of color on this campus whilst fostering an environment of empathy. In short, being at The Muhlenberg Weekly has taught me the power of truth. To tell one’s truth is to heal. To lean into the truth of who you are, you inherently give others the sacred permission to do so within themselves. Ultimately, I hope the Op/Ed section that I have constructed has acted as a sanctuary for those who simply want to be heard; I hope I was successful in cultivating a space where biases were challenged and understanding was birthed. For the past four years, The Muhlenberg Weekly has been my home. A home where I could place my worries, my joys and the depths of my narrative into something safe. Into something gentle. I will forever treasure my time here. To be a member of this incredible staff has been a privilege and I have so much love for this paper and for those who keep it alive. This paper has created in me a powerful lover of writing and poetry and a lover of human connection through experience. 

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Mustafa '23 is planning on majoring in Sociology with a double minor in Africana Studies and Creative Writing. While he's the editor for the Op/Ed section for The Muhlenberg Weekly, he's also an advocate for marginalized communities, specifically for queer communities and communities of color. He's also a lover of poetry and plans on going into a career of journalism post-college.


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