Khateebs – Please Talk about Newtown Today

A short message from your friendly neighborhood  Muslimah Next Door.Khateebs (those who will be giving Friday khutabas, or sermons, today) -- please don't forget to mention that Muslims should make du'a for the children who perished last week in Newtown, Connecticut, and to make du'as for the community of Newtown. Whether you mention it in your khutbah, or afterwards when you make community announcements, please do it. I don't profess to know how relevant or not khutbas are across the … [Read more...]

Don’t Let Newtown’s Tragedy become an Autism Backlash

Newtown shrine

The early morning scramble to get the kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door to their three different schools is more hectic this week as we count down to winter break. Whereas I was much more organized during the start of the school year and more dutiful in getting things done before I woke the kids, now I’m barely getting up ahead of them and am rushing to get lunches made, meds administered, coats and shoes on and bags packed as they chow down their breakfast in anticipation of busses c … [Read more...]

I Wish I Were an Only Child

Daanish and Amal

On Saturday night, when we were walking the lighted paths of our local botanical garden, taking in the beauty around us, my daughter announced something that millions of children have uttered before her:“Sometimes I wish I was an only child.”It kind of hit me hard.In retrospect, it was a mere blip on our family landscape – way worse things have been said, and I’m sure my kids have nursed much more hurt feelings then they let on to me. But she had never uttered those words out loud bef … [Read more...]

So Tonight That I Might Sleep

Daanish in bed

Hamza went to bed first, under protest as usual, clomping up the stairs, followed by his father. He always wants Baba to take him to bed. Lil D was already upstairs, bouncing up and down on his bed, so I figured my husband would take care of his bedtime routine, too.But Lil D came bounding downstairs into the family room, grabbed a big body pillow, and laid down on the floor. I glanced up at the clock. Only 8:30 p.m. He can have more time to wind down.Amal and I sat at the dinner table, … [Read more...]

The Epilogue – The RV Adventure and a Life Worth Living

Daanish on the RV

The kids are back in school and adults are back at work. And many parents with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) children are breathing a sigh of relief that they have survived another vacation. As for us, we returned our RV this morning, after clearing it out yesterday and removing all touches of the 2012 Ali Family Grand Adventure.Did we really do what we just did? It came and went so fast, and there was so much potential for disaster that it’s rather difficult to believe we are back. It is a … [Read more...]

Seeking Family Togetherness – RV Style

RV_kids

The scene playing out behind me captures a portrait of what our family is – Muslim, American, autism, multi-generational, nuclear, supportive, tolerant, innovative, and just a little crazy. Amal is up in the loft, reading a Roald Dahl book. Dadabba (the children’s paternal grandfather) has his topee on and is reading the Quran. Dadima (paternal grandmother) is lying down and resting. Hamza is playing with his cars, husband is driving the rig, and I am co-piloting. Lil D? He’s got two pillows tuck … [Read more...]

School Districts Deny Petitions to Close School on Muslim Holidays

Eid holiday

Growing up in North Dakota and later in Maryland, any time a Muslim holiday rolled around (Eid ul Fitr or Eid ul Adha), I took off from school to celebrate it. As I got into higher grades, there were times I just took a few hours off to attend Eid prayers and then headed back to school so I wouldn't miss an important test or assignment. Being in Advanced Placement and honors classes in high school, even missing one day made it tough to catch up. Back then, there also weren't as many activities … [Read more...]


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