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In 12th grade, our European history book spoke of a village in France that sheltered over 3,000 Jews during the height of the Holocaust. The refuge wasn’t secret; its mission was known, and the town’s unity defied the Nazis’ quest to continue searching for Jews.
If you study English, people ridicule your “useless” major. If you study science, people snarl when you tell them climate change is real.
We all know the southern part of heaven is in North Carolina — but what soft and wondrous summits rim the northern part? I think it must be in Sweden.
I’m reading a book about pastoral England in Queen Victoria’s time. The village of Haworth was in revolt because its minister had just died, and by tradition, the churchgoers ought to choose the heir to the office.
Last April, my adviser (that’s, like, your boss in graduate school) informed me that he didn’t think I “had it in me” to finish a Ph.D. and that he was washing his hands of me. He then ordered me out of his office with a grandiloquent, “Thank you, Mejs!”
After eight years of lying that Obama is a Muslim, I think the tragedy for Trump voters is that they and their leader are turning into those they fear.
January 2015 — I was in Chapel Hill, musing. Extremists were running wild in Iraq, doing awful things.
What’s the game plan? It’s a question on many a Muslim’s mind now that Donald “Dip Bullets in Pig’s Blood” Trump prevailed. I’ve heard defiance and fear. However, here’s a new tack — that we Muslims lose our superiority complex.
I once lived in Maryland, and let me tell you, that whole state sucks. It's nowhere near as friendly as North Carolina — but they didn't vote for Trump, so now I don't know what to think.
Over the past year, every time Donald Trump said something terrifying, I would start googling “Japanese internment camps,” or the “Night of Broken Glass” — the 1938 pogrom of Jewish businesses and homes. Nazis and bloodthirsty Germans tried stirring up their neighbors to participate in those November attacks, but few came out to join them. Many Germans thought that night of murder was so sad.
I went to a “Chai Chat” (I know, so liberal elitist.) attended by UNC Muslims to discuss how we can improve the image of Islam. Everyone was so idealistic, so sure that by being nice, helpful and positive, people would deem us more than just terrorists. It saddened me because I think no matter what us underlings do, the next second a crazy Muslim will blow something up, and that will be that.
In 2013, Egypt suffered a military coup and their president was arrested. Many Muslims blamed the Christian minority — at least, enough Muslims believed the rumor of Christian coup support that 50 Egyptian churches were reported torched.
This past summer, we woke up to the news of a massacre in Orlando, Fla. By the end of the day, the death toll nearly topped 50. And the assailant was Muslim.
I try to make time to watch the BBC Arabic TV channel — it shows a side of the Middle East that is not entirely hate and despair and offers a more complex view than most non-Arab viewers may expect.
I’ve been thinking about Harambe, the gorilla killed to protect a little mite of humanity that had tumbled into his enclosure. People are feeling helpless over the gorilla’s fate. But it occurred to me that while we can’t help Harambe, we can channel our grief towards safeguarding his wild kinsmen.
A January sunrise. I was Chapel Hill-bound on the highway outside Siler City when I hit a deer.
Last fall, PlayMakers Repertory Company produced its first-ever play about Muslim Americans. To think that my reality would dance upon the stage felt as special as receiving a rose on “The Bachelor.”
Last September, a Muslim kid in Texas was arrested after the clock he built and brought to show his schoolteachers was mistaken for a bomb. Most people cried foul. President Barack Obama invited Ahmed “Clock Kid” Mohamed to visit. The “IStandWithAhmed” Twitter account took off.
When I was little, I lived in Sweden, but don’t worry! This won’t turn into a tortuous Twilight-inspired love triangle in which I end up liking Sweden more than North Carolina or anything crazy like that.
I can be obstinate, so ordinarily hearing people say, “Peaceful Muslims are in cahoots with evil ones, do you ever hear them condemn violence?” would drive me to snap back: “Fine, I’ll show just how in cahoots I really am!” Except I am so desperately wild for bombs to please not tear apart places I love that I can’t mind the taunts — I have to do something anyway.