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 Now, with President Trump having rescinded the executive order and asking Congress to… Read more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

What a Triennial Evaluation Says and Doesn’t Say in Autism Land

D is up for his triennial review. I believe that [his school] sent his consent for testing form home with him yesterday. I will also be going to complete my observation report. Would you be able to meet in the morning on [date redacted] at [location redacted]?  If so, what time is best for you? – email from D’s school case manager last week. It kind of stopped me in my tracks. Earlier in the school year, as I made my check list… Read more

Its Not Just Autism Living. It’s Living.

Last night I sat in a darkened room with my eldest son, D, as he alternately cried a dil-se-dhook rona (heart-worn crying) and screamed in anger and frustration. The best I could do was be present to his pain, until he worked himself through it and fell exhaustedly asleep. This morning, going on barely 3-4 hours of sleep, I showered, dressed up and drove with my parents to attend the eighth-grade awards ceremony/graduation for my daughter. She had been excited… Read more

6 Ways to Create an Autism-Friendly Ramadan and Eid

This is a guest post from my friend Nakia Jackson, mom to Zak, who is autistic and awesome. By Nakia Jackson The stories about autism-friendly Santas and Christmas-related events has sparked some envy. Ramadan and Eid usually find Zak and I at home. The crowds make for extreme sensory overload in an environment where if he bolts, it’s hard to catch him. But, there are many things our mosques, community centers and Muslim communities can do to help make Ramadan… Read more

Enough With the Melania-Headscarf Headlines

Why is this a new story? A headline? Something we want people to care about? I’m talking about today’s article I’m seeing in various news outlets about how First Lady Melania Trump will not have to wear a headscarf when she accompanies President Trump on his official visit to Saudi Arabia. Or, let me quote to get it right: “Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir was quoted as telling media Thursday that America’s First Lady won’t be required to dress… Read more

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