Maryland School Board Designates Muslim Holiday a Day off from School


Almost a year ago to the day, the "Grinch" decided to remove Chrismas, Easter and Rosh Hashanah from the Montgomery County Public Schools calendar (still leaving it as a holiday, but not designating it by its religious name) instead of adding the Muslim holidays of Eid ul Adha and Eid ul Fitr to the calendar and giving students those days off.Now, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted 6-2 in support of a measure to schedule a professional work day for administrators and teachers on … [Read more...]

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


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)


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


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

Daanish 13 birthday

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...]