The Prayer that Shook a Dictatorship

Twelve years ago, I had the pleasure of experiencing the quintessential Egyptian Ramadan, a night in prayer behind Sheikh Mohamed Jebril in Egypt’s oldest mosque, the Mosque of Amr ibn al-‘As, on the holiest night of the year.  It was a night of peace, prayer and beauty followed by unplanned meetings with friends we hadn’t seen in so long, coming to experience the same Egyptian Ramadan night.Two nights ago, on the night of the 27th of Ramadan 2015, in the wee hours of the morning, my husband … [Read more...]

No Words.

            I tried to write about Trayvon Martin. I tried to write about Tamir Rice. I tried to write about Ismail, Ahed, Zakaria, and Mohammed, the four boys killed by an Israeli airstrike at the beach in Gaza last summer. I tried to write about the 200+ kidnapped girls in Nigeria, the children massacred at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. I tried to write aboutGeorge Carter,the boy in my city shot and killed on his way to school. I tried, but the words wouldn’t come, or rather, they came, but t … [Read more...]

Losing My Mind

I recently experienced cranial surgery. During this difficult time, I learned a lot about letting go and asking for help.While I always put my trust in God, this time it did not stop the anxious, pre-surgery thoughts from racing through my mind. Thoughts of “possible human error” got the best of me at night. Fears of not returning to my family often squeezed my chest  just after I tucked the kids into bed. Usually with a good prayer and a reflective self talk, I could  steady my nerve … [Read more...]

“Oh, is this your first?”

It seems like an innocent question, “Oh, is this your first?” But inside of me I am not sure how to respond. Do I say, “No, no, it’s my second?” or do I say, “Actually, this is my sixth.” And then watch as they look quizzically for the remainder. Sometimes if I feel a certain kinship with the questioner, I’ll go into it, but then more often than not, I don’t like to hear them say, “Oh, I went through a miscarriage.” It’s not the phrase; it’s just the way it is said; kind of like it dismisses my e … [Read more...]

Pick Up Your Broken Heart

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, declared that indeed, “The Muslim Ummah is like one body. If the eye is in pain then the whole body is in pain and if the head is in pain then the whole body is in pain.” We find ourselves in collective pain as current world events are breaking the hearts of millions around the country. We are witnessing unbearable levels of suffering that our generation has never before faced. The list is long: Palestine, Burma, Iraq, Syria, CAR, and many more. Fa … [Read more...]

How Can We Live?

The news of the unrest and violence in Egypt is inescapable. Much of the it has unfolded in full view of video cameras. I have seen bodies piled in the mosques, I have seen a woman in niqab shot to death by a sniper, I have seen grown men weeping over the bodies of their fallen sons. It is a tragedy on every level and it seems to be something that will not be resolved soon.A friend of mine asked today how one can cope with life in the face of such tragedy. Let's not forget, Egypt is only the … [Read more...]