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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Half Agony, Half Hope

"Do you have any children?" a nice woman making small talk asks me.I reply pleasantly, "No, I don't," but my inner monologue is racing."Children? I don't have children because  I don't have a husband.  I don't have a husband because I never had a romantic relationship with a guy. I never had a boyfriend, I've never even been kissed and I'm way older than Drew Barrymore was when she was in that movie with Michael Vartan! I'm older than Jesus ( AS) when he was on this earth! Oh God, what i … [Read more...]

The Life and Death of a First Love

First love can be a bittersweet and intense experience, especially if it is unrequited. It can also change us in ways we may not grasp until much later.I discovered love for the first time when I was seven years old. He was a distant cousin -- one amongst many thanks to my large close-knit family in Lahore, Pakistan. We gravitated towards each other, despite the fact that I was the younger, studious little girl while he was a rambunctious boy. We spent our time mostly play acting in our … [Read more...]

The Best of 2013

2013 was a whirlwind here at www.patheos.com/blogs/loveinshallah! We brought on gifted writer Deonna Kelli Sayed as co-editor as well as several wonderful monthly columnists, launched an advice column, created space for poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and featured countless guest posts by readers like you!Here are some other highlights from our year:Most popular postsIn It Started with a Wink, writer and lawyer Nura Maznavi shared her journey to the altar, along with some witty and w … [Read more...]

The Paths To My Heart

I am not sure why I have not written in a long time. I try to dissect my feelings.  To open up the bloody mess and follow the veins of my thoughts and explore the chambers of my heart.  I get lost every time.  I must accept that I will never find my way through the clutter.Of course, I miss Ibrahim.  I have learned that I will always miss him. I miss him in different ways everyday.  Most days, I miss his smell or even the smell of the sterile hospital.  His now-yellowed white hospital hat, wh … [Read more...]


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