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I was solicited by wherever mag to write a piece for their web publication addressing my experience with place and Lebanon. I agreed. This piece is for everyone who knows how difficult it is to exist in the between spaces, and for those who have yet to find out. You will find an excerpt of and link to my published piece, Wishing for Home in Lebanon, below. “This visit to Lebanon was my second. The summer before, I had travelled with my parents. My father, returned to his native country,

Guest Contributor Amy Gigi Alexander offers her journey through fear in this lyrically complex exploration of writing, courage and the personal narrative. This piece is universally compelling. It reaches beyond the page and what we desire to record, to that tender place between fear and fearlessness, and touches the heart of childhood.  ~~~ Someday I Will Be Fearless written by Amy Gigi Alexander  ~~~ The first story I ever told myself was a story called How to Be Afraid. I did not think of writing it down at first as

I wrote The Letter No One Wrote My Mother many months before publishing it here. It was a private piece, a letter specific to the situation of a friend. I wrote it and I shared it with her, then I sat on it, afraid of how big it felt. I knew it was a piece that could help others, but to speak up was forbidden since childhood. The irony was not lost on me: that I was able to plead authentically with a friend that she change her situation, but not

When I was 16, I started letting people believe that I was white. In 1996, my family relocated upward from the Bible Belt. We moved from the southwest corner of Arkansas to the Midwest. At sixteen, I experienced a new definition of self — which, for me, meant shedding my ethnic heritage and the abuse that came with it. My coming of age was more than an exit from youthful innocence. It was an escape. Read more of “Why I Passed For White” in Medium’s The Archipelago.

Amy Gigi Alexander is a travel writer and artist publishing a series of essays called Stories of Good. She has selected my piece, “The Magic of Carpet Rides” as a feature of this series. This piece is about much more than a prayer rug, my father, or faith. It is about traversing time and space–the journeys we take with the simplest motions. Where have you journeyed and how have you arrived? Click here for the full essay.  “The carpet smelled of soap and my father’s aftershave. I unrolled it in

Three years ago, I sat in my therapist’s office with my face in my hands. I wanted to look anywhere but at her because she was looking at me, she was waiting for me to release whatever had me wound up and fidgeting. “I’ve been reading the news,” I finally said. Our sessions often opened with a long silence followed by me trying to connect with her life, her as a person, her as someone who was not me. She drew her eyebrows together in concern. “How long has this been

On 9/11, my husband and I stood in our living room. The TV was on and I remember trying to turn my body to force my eyes to look away. The second plane hit. My husband’s hand covered his mouth. He felt too far away. I couldn’t move closer. One of us was saying, “Those people. All the people. Why would anyone do this?” At that time, we were learning to be practicing Muslims. I helped my university Muslim Student Union set up interfaith dinners where we sat with college students and

If you are coming here via HuffPo, welcome! This piece is linked because it provides a partial origin story to my anxiety. If this doesn’t quite resonate, feel free to check out “Confessions of an Almost-Abuser” as it more directly addresses PTSD and its source. If you are looking for something more positive, check out “She Could Love Herself.  *** As the media machine shines its unrelenting spotlight into the personal life of yet one more victim, the internet scrambles to separate itself into a frenzy of individual voices, although

As expected, my public confessions of abuse resulted in an emotional barrage akin to a hurricane. The response was so swift and fierce that I was left breathless. It arrived via text message and frantic, tear-and-shallow-breath-filled phone calls. I read. I listened. I paused. Were the allegations true? Was I an emotionally unstable child in a woman’s body acting unfairly? Were my experiences the manufacture of an overactive imagination, my admissions false and vindictive? The accusations battered me. I shed my own tears, but I remembered my goals, assessed whether

*This post was contributed by my sister-in-law, Cheryl Ainslie-Waldman, who now has a PhD in Nutrition from University of Minnesota, back in 2009. It appeared on a blog Jehanzeb Dar and I co-published called Islam on My Side (now someone else’s blog). I like to repost this every year because the information is important, especially during a summer fast! Cheryl recommends increasing your liquid intake this year as the days are hot and long. Pay attention to that third paragraph for some tips on caffeine and juice intake while fasting.

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