by Amina Ibrahim
For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a month of deep reflection, devotion, and worship. It is also a time where friends and family gather to eat, pray, and be together in community. The pandemic changed Ramadan for Muslims around the world in 2020. Many of us did not expect that one year later, Ramadan 2021 would be welcomed in circumstances that look very similar to the previous year.
Yet despite all the challenges of the past year, there is hope. As more Americans get vaccinated, families are able to open their homes up to loved ones again. Friends have started to host socially distant outdoor iftar, the nightly meal when families break their fast, gatherings. Being fully vaccinated has allowed for indoor gatherings to safely occur. A refreshing escape from last year’s isolated iftars.
Continue reading Ramadan 2021: Reflections On A Year of Sacrifice, Loss, and Hope
by Sabreen Akhter
Like many children of immigrants, it was rare that I would see my mother cry. She was made of that same earthen ore that so many recent immigrants are — setting out a path for herself, and then putting her head down and throwing every ounce into the effort of her new life in America. In the 1980s, when she was still early in her career, with two young children under her care, and a husband with an equally punishing schedule, there was little time to travel to see family, and even less opportunity to connect in the ways that we can today. Long distance phone calls were prohibitively expensive, long distance flights even more so, and the intervals between seeing loved ones stretched over many years.
Continue reading Turning In to Turn Up During Ramadan
by Mark Van Streefkerk
The Cherry Street Mosque (CSM) building has been a hub of progressive, interfaith community in the Central District for decades. In-person services and events stopped last year due to the pandemic, but several faith-based and arts communities launched a fundraiser last fall to make necessary repairs to the 90-year-old building. Members of the newly formed Cherry Street Village have a vision to turn the building into an interfaith and arts space that will truly be one of a kind in Seattle — but first, the roof has to be fixed.
Continue reading Help Save the Historic Cherry Street Mosque Building, a Hub for Interfaith and Arts Community
by Nura Ahmed
I remember in my first grade class, two years after 9/11, only moments before the U.S. declared war on Iraq, feeling this uncomfortable glare and attention from my teacher as she looked at me when she called my name for roll call. This only continued on throughout the school year when everyone found out I had a Muslim family. Being one of the few Muslim families in my area during the post-9/11 era, with the language used around being an immigrant, Black, and Muslim impacting the discourse in my community and in America at large, it was increasingly difficult feeling like I truly mattered or that I deserved to be there.
Granted, my family had come from Somalia only a few months before, and I felt this discomfort every year before moving to a place where I went to a diverse school and community in fifth grade. Even if it wasn’t any better afterwards. All I know is throughout the whole time, I felt isolated, alone, and afraid. Afraid of what these people would do to me. And I always questioned why they constantly hated me when I didn’t do anything.
Continue reading OPINON: The Terrifying Reality Behind the Black Muslim Experience in Amerikkka
by Elizabeth Turnbull
Over a week after Dolal Idd was fatally shot by police in Minneapolis, roughly 150 people gathered in front of the Tukwila Library on Sunday, Jan. 10, to honor the Somali American man’s life and to call for systemic change.
Many speakers mourned the loss of another Black life and spoke to the need for nationwide action on policing. Shukri Olow, a candidate for King County Council District 5, which encompasses some of South Seattle, spoke as a member of the Somali-Muslim community and as a mother herself.
“When I heard about what happened to Dolal, I couldn’t help but feel the pain of his mother, who ran away from the civil war to find a safe environment for her children,” Olow said. “I want you to think about fleeing a conflict … coming to safe shores only to have your child killed by a system that you do not understand, a system that does not see our humanity.”
Continue reading Vigil for Dolal Idd in Tukwila Shows Solidarity for Somali-Muslim Community and Demands Change