Our Close Call With COVID
It was the third day of Ramadan, and about one month into the coronavirus pandemic. The ear-piercing racket of ambulance sirens resonated constantly throughout my New York City neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens. But another sound troubled me even more. My 76-year-old grandma was gasping for air. She sat slouched on her bed, leaning against the […]Read More
If Allah Loves Everyone, Doesn’t He Love Gay People?
Names have been changed. My mother is a devout Muslim from Ethiopia, and when I was 5, she briefly sent my older brother and me to after school Quran classes. I remember feeling that I did not belong, and learning about Quran history and writing in Arabic did not interest me. After we quit Quran […]Read More
How I Came to See Islam in a New Light
“Mom, please! I will wear the hijab tomorrow,” I tried convincing my mother as I got ready for my first day of 6th grade. “No, Mariam,” she said. “You have to wear it. Come on, you’re running late.” Instead of feeling nervous about adjusting to a new class, I was mainly worried about one thing: […]Read More
Speaking Up About Sexism in My Family
Names have been changed. After 28 days of fasting, Muslim families like mine mark the end of Ramadan with a holiday called Eid al-Fitr. My family invites our friends over for a dawat, which means feast in Urdu, the main language in Pakistan, where my parents are from. But last year I had no interest […]Read More