Heidelberg and Huckleberries

zainab

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...]

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

image

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...]

(Potential) Adventures in Wonderland

zainab

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...]

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

image

“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...]

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...]


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