This is Peace, Too

When my husband, Hadi, and I lived in Guadalajara, Mexico, I volunteered at an internado for girls. It wasn't quite an orphanage. Most of the children had a parent or a grandparent who were unable to care for them due to poverty or addiction. I believed then that my motivations for volunteering were selfless. It had nothing to do with the loneliness of living in a foreign country or being away from family for the first time. I simply had time on my hands, and I wanted to make a difference.I … [Read more...]

Healing in Ramadan

Our Salaam, Love contributor Mohammed Shamma writes a post for Beacon Broadside about his love of soccer, instilled in him by his father, and his first Ramadan after his father's death:The World Cup and Ramadan aren’t always mentioned in the same sentence, but this year was different. The Islamic holy month started during the tournament’s knockout stage. In some ways, this was a fitting moment for the Muslim soccer players who had made it that far. They knew the Muslim world would be watching t … [Read more...]

When Fairy Tales Fail Us

When a daughter is born into a loving family, she is cherished and treated like a princess and dressed up like pretty little doll with colorful plastic bangles and trinkets.The beautiful princess is told fairy tales before being tucked into bed. Her mother speaks about the knights that saved Cinderella, Rapunzel and Snow White. Then, this little girl begins to dream of her very own Prince Charming and she starts looking for him as soon as she turns sixteen years old. Some girls get lucky and … [Read more...]

The Hunger to Be Seen

A titanic and towering swell of love lodged inside my chest after the birth of my first child. Here I was, just an ordinary woman of 25 years of age, but I had been entrusted with the world's very best baby. In my eyes, he was perfection, the realization of my every dream. For the life of me, I couldn't understand why adoring someone so much left me feeling so destroyed. After I'd wrestled my baby to bed, I'd stand around our small high-rise apartment in Queens not knowing which of my needs or … [Read more...]

To the Father Who Tried

He came here full of hope.It was 1981 and he was a twenty four year old graduate student sent from his home country of Sudan. He was told to make his country proud so he packed his belongings along with his dreams for a better life.The ultimate dream of any person living in a poor country. He was starting a new life in America.A land of endless opportunity and a place where anyone could make it.My mom said women were always taken aback because he was exceptionally handsome. His … [Read more...]

Press PAUSE

Sometimes it’s hard to make sense of everything around you, until it all stops.That’s where I found myself eight months ago when I fell ill and it forced me to take a medical leave of absence. In and out of the hospital for months, doctors sent me home with painkillers and without answers.Eventually, my health reached a point where I could no longer work or do everyday activities like exercise, cook, or even drive.  This was a struggle for me, as I’ve been a busybody for as long as I can … [Read more...]

The Myth of a Shared Life

I had the moment my future husband would see me in my wedding dress all planned out. Although it wasn't necessarily a Middle Eastern tradition, he'd be waiting for me at the end of an aisle. I'd walk in with my father, and upon seeing me in all my bridal glory, he had had one of the following options: a) cry with manly restraint b) open his mouth wide with surprise before breaking into a smile of wild, uncontained joy c) step back and clutch his heart so stricken by my beauty d) some combination … [Read more...]

There is No Me, There is Only You

I’m going back to work. Which seems like a ridiculous thing to say because I’m writing those words with chapped, painful hands, hands that have not stopped moving, even for a full night of sleep, in the three years during which I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom. Honestly, this work has been the most physically and emotionally difficult, and the most spiritually challenging of any I’ve ever done. It wasn’t so hard with my first. One is tiring. Two is crazy-making. At least when they’re within 2 years o … [Read more...]

ER Love Stories

As a nurse, I get personal with people real fast. At times, I can be a self-proclaimed personal invader. I have countless stories ranging from walking into family arguments to calling parents to inform them their drunk underage teen needs to be picked up. With all the drama involved with being an ER nurse, sometimes I get the pleasure of hearing peoples life stories. Stories are part of the human connection. Many people like to share their life stories and find a deep sense of pride in sharing … [Read more...]

Serial Husbands

Recently, one of my friends informed me that her ex-husband was getting remarried. My first thought was that he was already married. Didn’t he just post pictures of himself and his wife on social media? Before I could even ask, she blurted, “I wonder what sister he fooled this time.”He was on his third marriage within a five year span.A “serial husband” is one who takes on a wife and divorces her shortly after only to repeat the cycle again. It is not uncommon for these men to jump from m … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X