A Barbie Like Me

I hadn’t thought about it until today, but now I remember it like it was yesterday. Fourth grade — my birthday in the mid-1980s. I had invited a bunch of girls from my class over for a birthday party, including the young lady who was the reigning “it girl” in our grade during our elementary school years. I, and my best friend S, were one of the only persons of color in our lily-white small, Midwestern school in North Dakota…. Read more

What I Really Want to Say is …

If you voice out loud the silent and secret yearnings of your heart, if you allow yourself to linger over the “what-ifs,” the “should-have-beens” and the alternate futures that never were yours or your child’s to begin with, then you’re in danger of upsetting some one or another. You’re possibly doing a disservice to the loved one about whom you are thinking. This much I’ve learned – to keep it quiet, to internalize it as much as possible, to put… Read more

Ten

What time? What time was I exactly born, Mamma? It was around 4:30 in the afternoon. I remember because it was Ramadan, and everyone was fasting in our home. Except for me, of course. So, I went to the hospital, and you were born. Your Nana and Nani came to see you, and then Baba took them all to his office to break fast at sunset while I recovered. Thankfully the office was close to the hospital, so they weren’t… Read more

Saudi Women are Granted the Right to Drive

Women in Saudi Arabia have been granted the right to drive. Let’s repeat that – women in Saudi Arabia have been granted the right to drive. King Salman issued a royal decree today, saying that drivers licenses should be issued to women who want them, thereby granting a major victory to women in the Kingdom and around the world who have been protesting and working for years to overturn this hallmark of Saudi gender-based laws. Saudi Arabia was the only… Read more

This is Where We Used to Live

Please indulge me in a walk down memory lane – “Broke into the old apartment. This is where we used to live.” – Barenaked Ladies The gates were locked as we strolled up to the park. Not just locked, but there was yellow police-tape stretched across it, across other parts of the fence and trailing on the dingy sidewalk in front. I wasn’t too surprised, though. Back in the day when we frequented this small park, you never knew if it… Read more

On Fighting for #DACA, Migrants, Immigrants, Refugees & Youth – Issues Steeped in Islam

Editorial note: The decision by the Trump administration to rescind DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has struck at the heart of multiple communities in the United States. DACA provided undocumented immigrant youth, who had been brought to this country by their parents, with opportunities to study and participate in the workforce legally. It was instituted under the Obama administration and was operational for five years. Now, with President Trump having rescinded the executive order and asking Congress to… Read more

6 Ways to Connect With the Hajj

It seems like most Muslims know someone who has gone for the Hajj pilgrimage – friends, family members and acquaintances who may be sending back images, videos and messages from their blessed journey. Following along with loved ones on their pilgrimage or reading up about it can cultivate quite a longing in those who are at home and unable to go. Indeed, while the Hajj may not be designed for all Muslims, there are many ways to find that connection,… Read more

Fourteen

I always expected a lot out of you – for better or for worse. I expected you to not only learn to do for yourself as quickly as possible, but to learn to do for your brother (and later brothers) as well. It wasn’t fair at all to you, but it wasn’t entirely unfair. After all, this is our life, this is your life and truth be told – you rose to the challenge beautifully. Even now, on your fourteenth… Read more

Seventeen

Back when I was a young mother and you were a tiny lobster of a baby in my arms, I did what any young mother does – I envisioned snapshots of your future. There were a few monumental milestone numbers I thought about – age five (kindergarten), 10 (when you’d hit double digits) and 17 (Would you have your license? Would we be one of those parents who would present you a car on this birthday? What colleges would you… Read more

Ever Vigilant, Ever Questioning, Ever Guessing

He had a great day! – says the teacher who has brought D to my car after school. She starts to shut the door. Hold on, I say. Did he go anywhere today? Yes, we went to the mall – the teacher says. What did you do there, I ask? Mainly walked around and worked on a few tasks, the teacher says as they shut the door. Um, ok. It’s not like I can expect D to tell me the… Read more

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