An Accidental Jihad

accidental-jihad

Writer Krista Bremer met Ismail fifteen years ago on a North Carolina running trail. A romantic relationship developed through an unexpected pregnancy, eventual marriage, and subsequent spiritual growth. Krista's recent memoir, My Accidental Jihad, details her jump into the deep space of marriage and an unexpected faith journey.Deonna Kelli Sayed speaks with Krista and Ismail  -- "Ish" for short -- about the bicultural nature of all marriages, Krista's writing process, and her evolving spiri … [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...]

Tomorrow’s Joy

huda

The division of labor in our household is wildly disproportionate whenever we are trying to get out the door. I get everything and everyone ready. If we're traveling, I pack. Picnics, I pack. Dinner invitations, I pick out everyone's clothes and prepare a dish to share. Birthday parties, I buy the gift and wrap it. And, maybe I'll throw in a load of laundry, take out the trash, and clean the kitchen. My husband, Hadi, has his list, too: He gets himself ready and loads up the car if I haven't … [Read more...]

The Single Girl’s Survival Guide for Desi Weddings

image

 It was exactly five years to the day since the wedding I wrote about in my story for the Love, Inshallah anthology, “Punk Drunk Love.” Here I was again for another Desi wedding in the same suburban Indian restaurant. Heck, I’m pretty sure I was even sitting at the very same table.The couple was different and I was wearing a different sari, but the celebration of love was the same. It was impossible not to think of him – the leading man of that romantic narrative years ago, who h … [Read more...]

Bridging the Gap

chayya

My grandmother's name is Raj Kumari, which means “princess” in English. She has always been in my life and is part of my earliest memories. As a child, I had a habit of stealing butter and ghee from the kitchen, hiding under the table and eating it. My grandmother would walk in; see me eating butter out of the container, smile and say: “You look like Lord Krishna!”Hands down, she’s the best cook in my entire family, and because of her we grew up eating great Punjabi food. Saag, muttar paneer, … [Read more...]

What’s Your Name

Order Irene's new collection, the galaxy of origins. Scroll down for audio. what’s your namethe heavy chimes clot the hours in the air andmy blood asks, do bones carry future memories in their marrows?waiting for a face that is a mirror, I turn the page ofa tome that lists only my name my name my name.tonight each cicada sings its name, the only one it knows,and when I stepped out the door this morning and a chipmunkslammed into my shoe, it couldn’t remember its name for a mome … [Read more...]

Asian Parents React to “I Love You”

What would happen if you said "I love you" to your parents? These people did and the reactions are beautiful and heartwarming.Filmmaker Steven Lim is calling for you to video your parents reacting to hearing the words come from you. Post your videos using the hashtag #iloveyouchallenge. … [Read more...]

Mom’s Christmas, Our Ramadan

I grew up in Chicago, the daughter of a conservative Pakistani Pathan Muslim and a small-town American Mormon. Theirs was a marriage founded on somewhat foolish optimism.  Both of my parents assumed they would have the other converted to their own faith within months. My childhood memories of mom’s Christmases, our Eids, mom’s Easters and our Ramadans, serve as a testament to the contrary. This recollection comes from the strange serendipitous period where two of those major religious events – th … [Read more...]


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