Chasing Joy

chasejoy

I came across an essay called, “Joy,” from writer Zadie Smith. This was a timely find as I woke up to 2015 with this motto: chase joy! Smith starts the essay highlighting the differences between pleasure and joy, which I agree requires necessary distinction. She suggests that pleasure is comprised of small things. I’ve spent the past two years chasing various sorts of pleasures, some as banal as a good cup of coffee. Other pleasures I’ve sought are better suited for a different sort of essay. … [Read more...]

Rebels by Accident

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Deonna Kelli Sayed interviews writer Patricia Dunn, author of the YA novel, Rebels by Accident,  in this episode of Love, Inshallah's author interview podcast.(Track listing: "Ala Warag il Ful" and "Drum Solo" by Zikrayat. Music in this podcast is found at Free Music Archive: Middle East.)Sixteen year old Egyptian-American Mariam just wants the normal teenage American high school experiences. After she is busted at a party with her best friend, Deanna -- a party the police break up … [Read more...]

Weighty Ghosts

DKSPIC

Back when people called me Her Excellency, I routinely attended gatherings at the home of Bahrain’s First Lady. Cardamom-flavored coffee appeared in demitasse cups. The servers, always women dressed in traditional robes, poured the golden elixir from a gently sloped carafe called a dullah. The women returned at regular intervals with refills until you shook the cup to signify that you wanted no more.My marriage felt like a fragile container that held the riches of the world, and one that I t … [Read more...]

Heidelberg and Huckleberries

Zainab Chaudary

On the surface, Mark Twain and I have nothing in common. Twain was a cranky Southern gentleman (with occasional bursts of quite ungentlemanly language), the quintessential Mississippian with that very American cockiness that most of our fellow travelers have. In Innocents Abroad and the subsequent A Tramp Abroad, Twain turns an unforgiving and merrily satirical eye on all things foreign, and writes about Europe at the end of the 19th century. He makes fun of customs and linguistic hangups, t … [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...]

(Potential) Adventures in Wonderland

Zainab Chaudary

Every now and then, we come to a stage in our lives where everything is a fork in the road. It’s upheaval in our careers, in our families, and in our love lives, all at once, in that precarious position suspended in the air right before the pieces fall into place. The suspension, the intake of breath, the moment right before you follow a white rabbit down a rabbit hole or choose to drink a potion that says “Drink Me” – that is the most exquisitely agonizing moment of all. Will the path you take b … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]


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