“I think you’re a little bit behind the curve, though, if I’m honest. This is how I think it works. First, you have stereotypes, and that will be the black drug dealer, the east Asian kung fu master, the Middle Eastern terrorist in True Lies. Then you have stuff that takes place on culturally specific terrain, that engages with it, but actually subverts assumptions. Smashes stereotypes. That’s where I’ve come into the game.”
Read more about British actor & rapper Riz Ahmed in The Guardian, here.
SUPPLEMENTAL CALL FOR STORIES: Muslim Men on Love, Sex & Intimacy
You heard from the ladies in Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women, now it’s time to hear from the men! Announcing a call for non-fiction, personal stories by American Muslim men on love & loss, sex & intimacy for publication by Beacon Press, February 2014.
This is our 2nd call for stories – in response to requests, we’ve extended the deadline for American Muslim men of all ethnic/racial backgrounds and perspectives.
NEW SUBMISSION DEADLINE: MAY 6, 2013
Calling all American Muslim men:
Can you feel the excitement building? The deadline for your stories on love, sex & intimacy is in TWELVE days! Make your voices and perspectives heard.
Read more about the anthology, to be published by Beacon Press in February 2014, here.
Submissions are due by March 31st. Thank you for spreading the word!
The 2nd Pillar of Islam Was the Hardest
Prayer always came at the worst times:
just as my brother and I were poised to wrestle for the prize
of Julie’s 9-year-old heart or in the middle of a street football game
when I finally got my turn to be quarterback.
That’s when my mom’s voice rang out like an opera singer
from her kitchen window, “Salah, boys, time to pray!”
I could almost hear the glass breaking in every apartment,
the stinging of jagged shards peppered all over the grass
as we ran home barefoot—too quickly to explain to our American friends
what prayer meant in the middle of the afternoon when school
was long over and the real fun was just beginning.
I hate writing about death. It brings up unpleasant family memories.
Mother died at the age of 62 in 1982 from a series of brain infarctions, which is like Alzheimer’s, only accelerated.
Dad died in 1994 at the age of 75 from pancreatic cancer. By the time he was diagnosed, it was so advanced the doctors sent him home after surgically opening him up. He died a couple of weeks later.
These were huge personal losses. But I could comfort myself with knowing that I still had my sister, Debbie. Debbie and I were not close, but whenever we met for lunch or a special occasion, the conversation would always move to our parents and what bratty kids we’d been.
Swapping childhood stories with her was the most fun I ever had with anyone.
She died at the age of 48 in the spring of 1999 from congestive heart failure. When I finished being mad at her for taking a radical position early in life to never ever go to a doctor, things started closing in. I began to realize how alone I was. I was the sole surviving member of my family!
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