Pfffft! My eighteen-month-old son, Ibrahim, spit an orange slice out of his mouth. A few seconds later, my husband, brother in law, and I spit ours out too, realizing that the orange tasted rotten. “How did Ibrahim realize that the orange was bad before us?” I wondered out loud. “I guess babies can sense when something isn’t right,” my husband answered. This incident stuck with me all evening. It reminded me that we are born with a natural instinct, or… Read more

          This morning, over a relaxing weekend breakfast of scrambled eggs and tea with his mother and I, my 10-year-old was explaining to us that fourth grade is unlike third grade because now “everyone in fourth grade cusses.” He then added that, “they use all the cuss words like sh– and a– but the most common word is the F-word.” After a round of talking about what his own options are in such instances, he naturally… Read more

I hate feeling guilty. It’s a gut-wrenching feeling of disappointment that I let someone down, that someone is upset at me. It’s a powerful feeling that gets hold of me and can make my mind spin in ten different directions. It makes me read people’s faces to make sure they aren’t too angry at something I may or may not have done. It makes me say extra sweet words (even if they were the ones who initiated the altercation), just… Read more

I take money from my children. I checked around and others do it too. You should try it. Seriously, you should. Though there have been many with my older two boys, this was the first such incident with my youngest. Despite the slow taming of my internal torment from such incidents, I remain amazed at how intensely it still pulls at my heart. You see, towards the end of our family’s attendance at a local carnival this past Saturday, my… Read more

His eyes bulged, his jaw dropped, and he clapped his hands excitedly as he jumped up and down. And this was all before I took it out of the box. I had just bought my seventeen-month-old son, Ibrahim, a talking, singing Elmo. When I opened the box, Ibrahim grabbed Elmo and hugged him. They’ve been practically inseparable since. Elmo eats with him, sleeps with him, rides his toy car with him, and even takes medicine with him. Ibrahim was in… Read more

Everyone likes to feel like they belong to something special. I noticed the children at Sunday school responded positively to our new pilot project “Salah Club.” Like many schools, we have a hard time settling the younger ones down for Zhur salah. One day I said, “All those in Salah Club, come join the line.” They proudly marched to their spots and stood attentively. I paused and thought to myself, “Wow. I think we’re on to something worth sharing.” For… Read more

THAT DAY in late December 2014, I felt a new sense of elation, bliss, contentment at a level which all of my fathering years had yet never felt before. Like it was yesterday, I remember the overwhelming, majestic very first very moment that each of my three boys entered this world. Like it was yesterday, I remember how it felt when my wife and only son (at the time) returned from their first vacation without me… like angels descending from… Read more

            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… Read more

Before I began this blog entry, I asked my husband for ideas. “Write about having mercy on your husband,” he suggested. Thinking he was only joking, I laughed and shrugged it off. “Really,” he insisted. Realizing that he was actually serious, I thought there might be something there. Sitting down to write, I wondered why he felt compelled to push this topic. I began reflecting on the past two and a half years of our marriage, particularly the last sixteen… Read more

Have you been following the heartbreaking story of Mohammed Soltan? He’s a twenty-seven year old American citizen unjustly detained in an Egyptian prison. What was his crime? He stood up against the tyrannical military dictatorship that overthrew Egypt’s first democratically elected president. Mohammed has been on a hunger strike for over 300 days and both his physical and mental conditions are rapidly deteriorating. If you are a parent, it’s particularly difficult to read about his recent pleas to see his… Read more

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