As the Sydney siege unfolded, Western Sydney student Amar Hadid woke to find her family watching the news break on television.
“My dad and whole family were glued to the screen, I just stood and watched in horror,” she said.
“I felt horrified, I felt upset and I felt a bit angry at what this man was doing in the name of Islam.”
Ms Hadid, a year 12 student at Strathfield’s Meriden Anglican School for Girls, said she immediately felt compelled to write a song about what was happening.
“It took me about two days to write and completely finish the song and it took me about a month to record it,” she said.
The 17-year-old from Greenacre said she wrote the song to pay tribute to the victims of the siege.
“We as Australians will never forget this event and we will never forget how the hostages were harmed, especially Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnston,” she said.
“I wanted to express through my lyrics the horrid feeling I felt at the hearing of this event.”
Ms Hadid said she was horrified that gunman Man Haron Monis had hijacked and “misused” her religion.
“I felt depression because we had innocent people being held as victims, I felt depressed as an Australian and as a Muslim,” she said.
“I’m still baffled by how he would dare use such a beautiful testimony, such beautiful words for harm, it’s a beautiful religion and for him to go and abuse it in such a way is horrible.
“His actions did not in any way represent Islam and what it teaches.”
Ms Hadid said she hopes her song will encourage people to unite after tragic events, like the #illridewithyou campaign.
“I chose to name the song I’ll Ride With You to pay tribute to the Australian spirit and identity,” she said.
“We as Australians have great potential, we can fully use it if we come together as one and we don’t discriminate based on race, culture, age, beliefs.
“We can overcome racism if we come together.”
Hs Hadid’s father Albert said he is proud of his daughter for writing the song and described her as a “very determined young lady”.
“She loves expressing herself in different ways whether it’s her sports or rap,” he said.
“She felt the pain as an Australian because that’s what she thought about first and then it occurred to her that this man is using the name of Islam, which made it even worse.”