No Apologies Necessary

huda

It was my first time meeting a new friend’s spouse. We’d just finished dinner at our place, and my friend and I were in the kitchen, washing dishes and packing up leftovers. Our husbands chatted at the table while our children played in the living room, happy one minute, squabbling the next. After they left, the warmth of their easy company had lingered, and so I couldn’t have been more surprised when the next day, she called me, apologizing. “I am sorry my husband was so quiet last night,” she s … [Read more...]

Brown Girl Dreaming

Key

I remember being three, face deep in a mango, my mosquito legs poking out from the shade of a palm tree, the Caribbean sun hot and deliberate. One of my Aunties came around the corner, and, with her heavy hand, began beating my legs back into the shade, yelling in her creamy patois (that always sounded more like singing), “You are going to get too dark!”It was the first time that I ever looked at my skin and realized that people weren’t just black or white.I remember being eight, riding s … [Read more...]

My Absurdly Attractive Doctor & Other Misadventures in Love

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I’ve never been one to get along with conventionally attractive people – probably a residual internal bias against the “popular” crowd in grade school that incessantly teased me for my Otherness. As an adult, my wariness of attractive people has manifested in awkward conversations (which I’ve masked well with my quirky personality… I hope).Interviews are the worst – whether I’m interviewing for a job or being interviewed by the media. If the person I’m supposed to make eye contact with is att … [Read more...]

And In The Morning, I’m Making Pancakes!

Adeeba

It's a rare experience in our adult lives for us to think, "Oh, I've never had this food before!" But the childhood memories I have of that novel sensation survive for good reason.I remember the first time I tried popcorn. I didn’t like it much so I fed it to the fish in the lake. I also remember the sweet, tangy sensation of my first sip of lemonade. But neither of these compares to the first time I tried the best breakfast food known to humans: Pancakes.I know it sounds ridiculous, but … [Read more...]

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...]


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