Ali Family Autism Truths #1 – Learning from Each Other

April 1, 2015 - Autism Awareness Month - Day One of Ali Family Autism TruthsD is sitting downstairs right now picking through his dinner, while one of his therapists, who is playing the care giver role, sits with him. I've kicked the rest of the family out for dinner, and I'm sitting upstairs keeping an ear out for any issues that may come up. Call this a dry run. Call this part of my hypervigilance in making sure he is cared for and supported in a manner that will be best for him. Next week … [Read more...]

The Ease and the Glory

When we first were officially told that D's diagnosis was autism, we were devastated. This may be insulting to some on the spectrum, but I'm keeping it real. There has been so much heartache mixed in with joy these past 11 years since that day that it all seems inexplicably intertwined.You can't have one without the other. As much as I've tried to lessen and alleviate D of the excruciating hard parts of autism, it's still there, perhaps to remind us that the beautiful moments and the joy are … [Read more...]

Between Autism and Stoic Heroism

Daanish at Pump it Up

The words seem too paltry, too weak, to insufficient to fully express the depths of what I am seeing him do. I want to share it with you. But every time I let the words flow, it feels unsatisfactory -- like whatever I write will not do justice to the truly astounding things I see my son doing. Because when I turn my attention outward, I see everything amplified – big, noisy, loud, glaring. And I don’t want to lose the beauty and true awesomeness of the small, the infinitesimal, the passing mom … [Read more...]

New York City to Add Muslim Holidays to Public School Schedule

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons

"We no longer have to choose between our education and our faith!" -- tweetI woke up today to see that #EidInNYC was trending in Twitter? Why? Because New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the addition of the two Muslim Eid holidays to the public school schedule. Says this CBS local article: Schools will now close for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, making New York City the largest school district in the nation to recognize the two holidays on the official school calendar.“We are co … [Read more...]

Motherwhelmed and Wanting More

D happily  twirling beads around his Nanijan's (grandmother)'s finger

There are the articles, posts, op-eds and stories that the important ones. The BIG ones. The ones to affect change, get you thinking, expose a problem, right a wrong, grow awareness for a cause or situation, promote activism or convey a story that needs to be heard.Then there are the ones that are seemingly nothing – the sharing of a thought, an experience, a feeling. Take what you want from it. Maybe sharing it is just an exercise for the writer to get out what she is feeling in her brain a … [Read more...]

Poem – If I Die

This poem is a guest post by Tahera Rahman. If I Die  If I die, would you ask why? If I were beaten to a pulp on the side of the road? If I were choked to death? If I were shot in my home, would you pursue justice in my name? Would you picket in the streets, march to beats, Would you treat my life like more than just a game? If I die, would you ask why? Would you wipe my children’s tears?             Care for my parents?             Assuage my community’s fears? Would you remember to … [Read more...]

Turning the Focus Back on Deah, Yusor and Razan – What We Hold Onto

photo courtesy of the UNC General Alumni Association

Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon. Surely we belong to God and to Him we return.Sometimes you need time to process a tragedy. Sometimes no time is enough time to find the words to articulate all that is tumbling in your mind. Sometimes there is nothing left to do but grieve, be angry, let go of the anger, pray and continue to work for understanding and change. Even when the latter seems so hard to achieve.Why? Why did Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha have to lose their … [Read more...]


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