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  • NNC 4:07 AM on October 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Nusaibah   

    Hajjah Miniimah Bilal-Elahi: Fostering a Voice 

    Hajjah Miniimah waved to get my attention and called me over to talk to her. She previously took interest in Imam Khalil’s announcement of our team’s arrival and told me that she’s currently writing a book about her own life story and was willing to share with us. I pulled up a chair and sat facing her. She reached into her bag and pulled out a draft design for her book’s cover. On the page was a drawing of a young girl writing a letter. Above the girl’s head, the book’s title read “Dear Daddy, Dear Mommy Why Did I Grow Up as a Foster Child?”

                                                               (More …)

    • NNC 2:44 PM on October 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      It seems you and Miniimah really connected and had a deep conversation. Ali Akbar, the man I conversed with at Ash-Shaheed, also said he was raised by a foster mother but I don’t think his youth was as hard as Miniimah’s. She was right though about saying we can never fully understand a person’s story, and that is how I felt with Ali as well. All we can do is listen, try to understand, and take away whatever we can from these people’s stories to make us grow as better people. – Danish

  • NNC 2:51 AM on October 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Nusaibah   

    Today was, in many ways, a vivid contrast of yesterday. Yesterday we spent the greater part of the evening either anxious about our journey or in deep reflection from the intense conversation we had with the members of the Community Mosque of Winston-Salem. Today, our anxiety about the trip was significantly lowered and we didn’t get the chance to meet with Muslims in the area, let alone hear intense stories. I could feel the frustration and disappointment from both myself and the group caused by the fact that we were essentially stood up by the contact we arranged a meeting with. However, as our day’s original plan started to unravel, I noticed a simultaneous growth in the bonds that began forming between us. Today I laughed genuine laughs, I gave in to silly games, and snacked on Funyuns until 1am—all thanks to the chill and comforting environment of the team.

    I imagine that true nomads sometimes get lost. I’d like to think that they still learn something productive when they find themselves on these unexpected paths. The Nomads of North Carolina organically became lost today (further supporting the authenticity of our nomadic ways). From surfing through multiple webpages hoping to find a replacement Muslim community, to struggling in finding any possible detour to get us from Asheville to Brevard, it became clear that sticking to the game plan just wasn’t the theme of the day. Despite these struggles however, we still got the chance to device a perfect method for splitting crepes in a way that left everyone happy, come together in prayer by an unforgettable waterfall in the woods, and play pranks on each other while all 8 of us were piled into one car. As we sat in a “hotel-turned press room” late into the night answering insightful questions and figuring out how to best update the blog, I honestly felt like a new family was cultivating. I’m excited to see what the next couple of days will do to these relationships. In the meantime, us nomads should probably get to bed :/ (2:43am)

    • Yasmina C. 2:17 PM on October 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      It’s amazing the types of bonds you form with people you travel with. I’m happy that you were all able to enjoy each other’s company despite the unexpected roadblocks. 🙂

  • NNC 2:41 PM on October 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Nusaibah   

    Where are the Muslims? #ISLAMICCENTEROFASHEVILLE

  • NNC 2:48 AM on October 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Nusaibah   

    “Add to Dictionary” 

    I’m starting to doubt my ability to hold heavy stories. I approached this project thinking it would be a chance for me to sit back and just listen to the story being told; to take a break from the need to throw in my own opinion. I’m seeing now that simply holding these stories is a difficult responsibility in itself. How do I sit for an hour as 2 grown men share stories of life in a concentration camp? How do I preserve the story of a brother’s strength to pull out of the hallway a family member who’d been tortured and left in grave danger of being shot, all while his own arm was broken, completely blue? Where do I hold my memory of seeing tears run down the face of a man telling of his mother’s rape? It is one thing to walk into the cozy kitchen of a welcoming mosque and tell its members you’re there to have a conversation of any life stories they’re willing to share. To get their actual raw accounts is quite another.

    As I right-click to add Merdin’s name into Word’s dictionary, I can’t help but ponder what it means that I’ve now added his family’s story to a collection of thoughts that will forever stay with me.

    • Nadir Ijaz 11:33 AM on October 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This is really interesting and something I was asking myself as I was reading through everyone else’s blog entries (which are all amazing by the way!) – where do we go from here? We (I say “we” just because I feel like the entire Duke Muslim community is kind of “with” you all in some way) are hearing all these horrible stories of concentration camps and war, injustice and a family’s grief, but what exactly are we “looking for,” if anything? Is there something to be said for hearing these stories in person, for watching them “live” through the words of those who lived them? I think so, but I’d like to hear what the eight of you think about this, still having the story of Merdin’s family fresh in your minds. What do we gain from these experiences and interactions, and what’s the next step?

  • NNC 6:16 PM on October 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Nusaibah   

    Very insightful pre-departure meeting with Dr. Gary Glass at CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services). It was deep. Had the urge to snap my fingers throughout the whole session. Look out for a post about it. -Nusaibah

  • NNC 1:26 PM on October 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Nusaibah   

    Less than 25 hours until we start our journey!! Please follow us– there is a button on the bottom-right of this screen that says “+ follow”. Click it!!

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