Ali Family Autism Truths #5 – How Inclusive was Your Easter or Passover Service?

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April 5, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Ali Family Autism Truths #5 In private conversations with friends today, friends celebrating Easter or having celebrated Passover, we shared some of our frustrations in trying to participate in religious ceremonies and attend services at Houses of Worship with our autistic children. While many churches, synagogues (and even some mosques) and other Houses of Worship have made great strides in tailoring services for all in their congregation, or at the very … [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...]

The Grinch Who Removed Christmas (and Rosh Hashanah and Easter)

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The verdict is in.Neither shall there be Christmas, Easter, Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur - written on the public school calendar in Montgomery County, Maryland, that is.Muslims in Montgomery County have been petitioning the school board for years to add Eid (Eid-al-Adha in this case, since Eid-al-Fitr, which comes at the end of Ramadan, is currently in the summertime) to the school calendar. Finally, the school board voted 7-1 Tuesday not make Eid-al-Adha a student holiday but rather ... … [Read more...]

Raise Your Voice: An Eid Celebration for Special Needs Children

MAS DC 2014 Eid celebration

I can feel it. On more days than others, I can feel it. I can almost smell a change in the air, the movement towards action built on the weary shoulders of ongoing awareness. It’s starting to happen, all too much slowly for my impatient bones, but inch by inch, bit by bit. Not only are our Muslim communities starting to recognize and acknowledge the different needs and challenges of individuals and families with special needs, we are beginning to lay the path – brick by brick – to affect some rea … [Read more...]

An Eid without Lil D and Autism

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It was a pretty monumental end to Ramadan 2013 for our family, as we celebrated the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday here in Hyderabad, India, completing what was my first experience fasting and celebrating this Eid outside of the United States. My hands have mendhi (henna) on them, I ate more than my fair share of sheer khorma, and we met more family in one day on Eid than I ever have before. We managed to stuff the day with Eid prayers, Friday prayers, a stellar biryani lunch (natch) for any and all family … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday Lil D – Not so Lil Anymore

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It isn’t a celebration unless we eat biryani, and that our family did – in two different continents.I woke yesterday morning to the sound of bleating goats in the front yard. Normally it would’ve been the sing-song sounds of Lil D roaming the house, as he gets up pretty much as early on the weekend as he does on the weekday. But he is not here with me. He is far, far away, like a line out of a fairy tale.I am in India. He is at home in Virginia with my parents. And I am not with him on th … [Read more...]

Dating Life Again

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There comes a point when you’re coming through a tough, tough time, and even though things aren’t exactly easily manageable (forget great, or even really good) yet -- you decide that it’s time. It’s time to start dating life again. Because if you don’t start trying, you’ll never get out of your pajamas, make yourself presentable, get out of the house and become social again.As Ramadan came to a close last week and we neared the Eid-ul-fitr holiday, I made that decision. I chose to date life a … [Read more...]


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