Bayramınız mübarek olsun

Tomorrow marks the first day of the Festival of Sacrifice, the most important celebration in the Islamic calendar. Corresponding with hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiday is known as Eid al Adha in Arabic, and Kurban Bayramı here in Turkey. It is also known in Arabic speaking parts of the Muslim world as Eid al … Continue reading Bayramınız mübarek olsun

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Come As You Are: Mevlana Seb-I Arus 2013

The week leading up to December 17 is known in Konya, Turkey as the Mevlana Festival, in celebration of the ‘urs of Celaladdin Rumi. ‘Urs is an Arabic word which can be translated as “wedding day;” in this context it refers to the death anniversary of a Sufi saint, or revered Islamic mystical figure. The … Continue reading Come As You Are: Mevlana Seb-I Arus 2013

Artwork, Adıyaman, Antiochus, and Apricots

Over the first weekend in October, my K-Town crew and I boarded a plane from Ankara and flew to Malatya, a city in Central Southeastern Turkey where 3 of our Fulbright cohorts are placed. The trip also served as something of a one month reunion, as we joined over 20 other Fulbrighters there. With the … Continue reading Artwork, Adıyaman, Antiochus, and Apricots

Wear A Hoodie this Friday

To my Kenyon Community, The media is ablaze with controversy following the death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin last month. His death (and the debate that has ensued) is one stark example amidst a series of incidents in the last week which have demonstrated the power and pervasiveness of racial, ethnic, gender, religious biases … Continue reading Wear A Hoodie this Friday

Hoodies, Hijabis and the Hunger Games

This article was originally published by the online edition of the Kenyon Observer I remember in the aftermath of President Obama’s election in November 2008, many proclaimed that America was post-racial. I disagreed then and now with this assessment; it suggests that the election of a black President amounted to full eradication of racial prejudices … Continue reading Hoodies, Hijabis and the Hunger Games

“Islam’s Diverse Paths” at Kenyon College

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the Office of Public Affairs at Kenyon College about our slew of exciting events this spring related to the Islamicate world. It has been incredibly gratifying to watch the program grow and shift along with student interest. One of the unique advantages of the liberal arts experience, … Continue reading “Islam’s Diverse Paths” at Kenyon College

On “Tolerance”

"The connotations of 'tolerance' are deeply problematic. Allow me to elaborate on this point: the root of the term 'tolerance' comes from medieval toxicology and pharmacology , marking how much poison a body could 'tolerate' before it would succumb to death. Is this the best we can do? Is it our task to figure out … Continue reading On “Tolerance”

Juan Williams, Jon Stewart, and Our Unconscious Minds

Shankar Vedantam has this interesting article about the associations we make between individual action and consequent judgement about large groups (i.e. Juan William's comments). After reading the first page, the article bothered me: it seemed too complacent, too willing to just accept that these connections are just "how we operate," but the conclusion of the … Continue reading Juan Williams, Jon Stewart, and Our Unconscious Minds

we didn’t start the fire

"... we are seeing forces that cannot ultimately be stopped by anyone - until they have wrought the hideous consequences so many zealots on all sides desire." Andrew Sullivan discussing the current political and emotional climate. My heart aches... I seriously pray he is wrong. As I have grown and sought my education and broadened … Continue reading we didn’t start the fire