Kia Ora and Salaam,

My name is Latifa Daud (pronounced la-tee-fa da-ood) and I am a Gujarati, Muslim New Zealander with Muscular Dystrophy.

This has made growing up in Auckland an interesting experience. Dealing first-hand with Islamophobia in the post-9/11 world and ableism, racism and sexism everywhere, I learnt a whole lot about heritage, belonging and resilience. I’ve seen the best and worst of human behaviour, and I’ve been the best and worst person.

In the 12 years following my diagnosis, I finished school despite many doubts, graduated university twice, went through the painful job seeking process before becoming a freelance writer, all while attempting to battle my own daily demons, unhealthy coping mechanisms and smartarse attitudes to everything.

Only recently have I taught myself to see the beauty in all that is ugly.

This weekly blog will tell my story and those in my communities. It will explain how I came to this place in my life, the daily struggles I still go through, my general journey as a Kiwi-Muslim-disabled-Indian, and share a few tips I’ve picked up along the way about how to navigate Auckland in a wheelchair, or just as a brown girl, or just at all.