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 Friday, August 22, 2014 | 26 Shawwal 1435
  Individuality  
My friends call it my “deer-in-headlights” look. Not all of them recognize it, but a select few know it when they see it. Until a few weeks ago, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what brought on this feeling of unease in certain social settings. “I just feel….lost?” I tried helplessly to explain to one friend.
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  Skin  
I remember when my second daughter was born with darker skin color than the rest of the family and I was made to feel as a mother that she was somehow less than my other daughter, less lucky, less beautiful, less. As if she didn't deserve to wear certain colors, and I shouldn't rejoice in her adorableness, just because Allah had chosen for her skin color to be a shade between chocolate and caramel, instead of vanilla. ()

  Palestine  
I’m not one for humid, oppressively hot weather, but there I was standing on the grassy knoll opposite the White House, squinting into the noon-day sun. And I wasn’t alone. Roughly 10,000 people--give or take a few hundred---milled around me on Lafayette Square, spilling onto Pennsylvania Avenue. ()

  Palestine  
Dear Gaza, I’m sorry. I apologize on behalf of the United States of America. First of all, that moniker is not accurate; in a nation of over 300 million people, you can be assured that we rarely agree on anything. We are certainly not united on the issue of Israel’s holocaust in Gaza. Yes, holocaust. ()

  Iraq  
“What do you think of war?” I remember looking into my cup of coffee as a stranger asked me that question back in 2007. He smiled at me kindly, almost contritely, but I wasn't sure if he was apologizing for the randomness of the topic, or for the war itself. I had encountered both in the past. All he knew about me was that I identified as an Iraqi-American. ()

  Palestine  
Blood on our hands

Blood on our hands

We all have Gazan blood on our hands

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  Ramadan  
The past six Ramadans, I rise before the sun does. It's not to eat suhoor, nor do I prepare it for my husband. I trudge by him as he groggily slurps down a bowl of O's, we exchange a look of mutual exhaustion. It's a call that summons me awake, reminding me that there's something greater than sleep. I kick my way out of the covers, sit up, and quickly begin reorienting myself. Peeling away from a dreamy subconscious realm, I stand up and enter my reality. Motherhood. ()

  Ramadan  
For young Muslim women struggling with eating disorders, Ramadan can be the worst time ever. I know this firsthand. As a teen girl, I would intermittently starve myself and vigorously work out. I would eat 500 calories a day--no carbs, no sugar. ()

  Ramadan  
“You really shouldn’t fast,” an Indian hematologist in Bahrain warned me after I had been fasting for eleven years. She cautioned me that my iron levels were alarmingly low. “I’m concerned with your liquid intake more than the food. Your stomach isn’t big enough to accommodate both.”


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  Ramadan  
I was nine years old when I made one of my first major pleas of repentance to God. It was Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting. Kids are not required to fast until they hit puberty, but even in kindergarten, I hated being left out of Ramadan and begged my parents to let me fast. To put an end to my whining, they told me that if I didn’t eat anything between my meals, it would count as a “half-fast.” ()

  Ramadan  
“So water isn’t allowed during Ramadan, but sushi is?” my boss asked me with a bemused look on his face just as I was about to pop a spicy tuna roll in my mouth. For the past three weeks, thanks to the sighting of the crescent moon of Ramadan, I had become a one-woman dawah center at my office. Even more than donning the hijab, there’s something about fasting that suddenly transforms every Muslim into a mufti at the work place. ()



           
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