Ramadan, the World Cup and the Challenge for Fasting Athletes

Karim Benzema, photo courtesy of AFP/Getty

I’m no athlete, not by a long shot. But last summer I was in a semi-decent groove, doing some running at the gym on a regular basis, attending various classes and such. I knew, given how much I dislike exercise, that the onset of Ramadan was going to totally derail me. I’ll do yoga classes a few times a week in the mornings, I thought. Surely I can do that.Yep. Nope. Pacing myself through the 16 + hour fasts during the dog-days of summer was challenging. But keeping up with the kids and man … [Read more...]

Eligibility Where it Matters Most

Search For Solution

Have you read the report, Mrs. Ali?Do you have any questions?One by one, they asked me these two questions – regarding the observation report, speech and language evaluation, education report and the newest one – a functional vision assessment. (We waived the need to do a psychology evaluation this time, as everyone on the team agreed nothing had changed in that area.)Yes, I have read the report.No, I don’t have any questions.(I have a million questions, but none of them perta … [Read more...]

There is No Timeline on Progress in Autismland

Yellow bath sponge

There is no timeline on progress.There is no deadline on learning.It never ends, it never stops; the door is always ajar, waiting to nudged open, slowly but surely, or even kicked wide open.Lil D will be turning 14 this summer. And he has come so far in various aspects of his life while spinning his wheels in other areas. Sometimes we try to teach him something, some new skill, only to realize after a while that the backburner is where that skill needs to go. Maybe even off the … [Read more...]

Envious of Each Other’s Struggles and the Place I Need to Be

Daanish through the window

How will they know they are accepted by Allah? When the joy from their blessings and the trouble and despair from their afflictions are the same to them. -- paraphrased from a saying of Rabiah al Basri - a sahabi (companion) of the Prophet Muhammad (saw).The Facebook statuses I am reading today, this Jummah (Friday) are so very real and raw and honest. Several friends who are in Jerusalem and tried to get to Masjid al Aqsa for Friday prayers wrote about how men under the age of 45 were de … [Read more...]

Bismillah and the Road Less Traveled

bismillah

Bismillah-hir-rahman-hir-rahim.In the name of God, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.In the name of the One who is the most charitable, the most helpful, the most mercy-giving, the most generous, compassionate, forgiving, gracious, kindhearted, forbearing, lenient and sympathetic.I’ve been thinking about this phrase, Bismillah, and how Muslims invoke it at the start of any new endeavor, when faced with any big trial, when placing forth any effort, any step and well, anything. We … [Read more...]

Let Our Decisions Be the Right Ones

Daanish in the car

Allah pai bharosa reko. (Place your trust in God.)The mornings feel less hectic now.Don’t get me wrong, they still are hectic, as we rush to the end of the school year. I am urging Hamza to wake and hurry, hurry, hurry through the teeth brushing, clothes changing, socks and shoes wearing and breakfast eating. I still  am frantically urging him and his sister – Come on come on! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!Until, in a flurry of arms, legs, backpacks, lunch boxes and extra bags carrying … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths for Autism Awareness Month – The Last Ten

Daanish and Mama holding hands

The blank screen on my phone stared back at me, waiting for me to write the last Ali Family Autism Truth on the last day of April -- Autism Awareness Month. I was at a blank. How do I sum things up? Is that even possible? Because there is no summation to Lil D's life with autism, or our life with him. It's ongoing, and just because April was ending didn't mean our autism truths were ending. Autism doesn't end like that.The last ten days of truths left me anxious, because there was so much to … [Read more...]


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