The View From Here

huda

In seventeen years of marriage, my husband and I have lived in one foreign country and three different states. At each of these locations, we've changed our homes at least twice, shrinking and expanding from a tiny apartment to a bigger apartment, from a smaller duplex to a larger high-rise, from a modest townhome to single-family home. And, within each of these homes, we've been different people and a different couple.Our first apartment was a one-bedroom in Santa Clara, California with … [Read more...]

If God gives me the privilege of giving birth to a daughter

kiahq

Eds. Note: We are pleased to welcome our newest columnist, Key Ballah! Catch her column - Brown Girl Dreaming - the second Wednesday of every month. You are a woman every part of you reaches toward that identity, but you hesitate, cutting your tongue on the way that it sounds. Because your mother is a woman and the word rests against her so gently. Her hips are full, her mouth is wide, the word “woman” just seems to embrace her. But you feel it hanging off of you, like a  … [Read more...]

No Utensils Required

Alya

                                            Amman, Jordan – 1998I joined my family in the dining room, noticing immediately that there were no chairs at the table. Where did they go?Pondering, I became distracted by the center of the dining table, mesmerized by a massive, round dish, called sider, towering with rice and lamb. It was time to feast. Everyone took their spots surrounding the sider, waiting to begin.Standing next to my father, I asked him where all the plates and … [Read more...]

Love in Protest

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As my car crested the hill, I could see the skyline of downtown Los Angeles on the horizon. I noticed the lights of a helicopter hovering close to Bunker Hill and another over Chinatown. I slowed down, counting eight helicopters above.My stomach dropped and eyes welled. Nightfall is when the police gets more fierce, when protests grow as people leave work, and when infiltrators become bolder with their subversive tactics. My peers were on those streets, marching in solidarity for Mike Brown, … [Read more...]

Nijla Mu’min: Film, Identity, and ‘Noor’

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Nijla Mu’min’s Film in Progress Noor: Bringing Multidimensional Characters into the Light Interview by Kameelah Janan Rasheed  Nijla Mu'min is a writer and filmmaker from the East Bay Area who found her “natural destination” to be filmmaking while a student at UC Berkeley. Beginning as a filmmaker focused on documentary and interventionist stories, she has now taken on narrative fiction filmmaking with her film Noor which unfolds the nuanced relationship that develops between a Palesti … [Read more...]

A New Story to Tell

huda

During my last year of college and my first year of marriage, my husband, Hadi, did most of our housework. He bought our groceries, made our dinners, and did our laundry. I expected this: my father assumed similar tasks whenever my mother was working toward another degree. There was a subversive element to this that I appreciated. Both my husband and my father defied the stereotype of the patriarchal Muslim man; both my mother and I were far from being subservient Muslim women.Then, quite … [Read more...]

Go Be You

Arooba

I’ve been thinking about fate, lately. About what’s ‘meant’ to happen, what does happen, and what our role is in all of that. This past week, I helped a friend get through a really bad break up. I also went to a fantastic event. And it all just made me think.In business, the first few years, you have to hustle. Nothing falls into your lap. If you want it, you’re going to have to go after it, it’s not a waiting game, it’s a chasing game. That’s what they say anyway, whoever they are.In lov … [Read more...]

Vote Your Love

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“You know, you can talk to me in Bangla if it makes you more comfortable,” I said quietly. I could sense my passenger was struggling, words stumbling from his tongue.“Oh that’s right,” he responded, slightly surprised. “I’ve been in the US a year, and I never can find people to speak in Bangla with.”“I don’t speak it bhalou, but I can understand it ikhthu ikhthu,” I jokingly said in Banglish.It was an unusually warm early October night in Los Angeles, and I was driving on the yellow l … [Read more...]

Love Comes Later

after-ceremony

We had been married just over 24 hours and had just finished dhuhr prayer when a friend of the family, my mother-in-law’s dearest friend, kneeled in front of us and grasped our hands in hers, with a look of tenderness and concern.“Now I need to tell y’all something. This right here, right now? You think this is the love but I have to tell you, this isn’t the love.”We looked at each other, eyebrows raised, knowing smiles on our lips, the wisdom of those in their early twenties (which is to … [Read more...]

From America to Kenya: Love in Every Last Bite

ni

I’m a foodie. I’ll admit it. I shamelessly look up pictures and videos of food on websites like Tastespotting and Instagram. It’s even more thrilling to do it while I’m fasting.I grew up in a small city in Michigan. Food played an important role in bringing together my mixed family. As a child of an immigrant father from Pakistan and an Irish-Slavanian American mother, my parents imbued me with a passion for food.I  remember picnics as a child on Lake Michigan in Chicago, stuffing spicy, … [Read more...]


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