Ramadan Events in Birmingham

If you don’t practice Islam, you’re probably incredibly unfamiliar with the faith’s holidays, celebrations, and traditions outside of the call to prayer, the hijab, and maybe you know that Mecca is important. And maybe, perhaps because you live in Alabama (or at least in America) in a time of great cultural exchange and diversity, you have heard of Ramadan.

At least you’ve heard the word. You might automatically say that it’s a fast and that it lasts for a month. And no, that is not incorrect!

Continue reading “Ramadan Events in Birmingham”

B’ham No-Ham Hoppin’ John Dolmades: Food for the Southern Soul

Hit up the farmer’s market, throw on that apron, and make your friends and family say “wow, I wish I could cook like this!” And then tell them, “you can!” And then tell them all about how Southern food is as much of a cultural mash-up as the food we see in LA and New York, where pastrami tacos and sushi bagels are on corner after corner.

Lifting up a spatula to serve himself something tasty, I presume.

Continue reading “B’ham No-Ham Hoppin’ John Dolmades: Food for the Southern Soul”

Birmingham Comic Book Shop Guide – We know you want it.

I owe my literacy and love of art to Batman. The box of 1960’s Batman comics in the attic didn’t count for school, since we were assigned readings and our outside reading had to be “chapter books” with no pictures. But the comic books were what I read even though I gained no scholarly benefit. Doing something for the love of it is passion.

Continue reading “Birmingham Comic Book Shop Guide – We know you want it.”

Solidarity in the City – Commentary

Crowds coming into the first class while Dala Eloubeidi answers questions about the prayer space.

I am a sucker for solidarity. A sap for sibling-hood. I get teary at communities helping each other. My heart bleeds more often than is maybe healthy. I don’t care. There was no parking at the Birmingham Islamic Society’s open house today and I was utterly verklempt. I have never been prouder of the city I live in. Continue reading “Solidarity in the City – Commentary”

Orthodox Churches of Birmingham: Hidden Gems

I know, as my peers have described, comically little about Christianity. As a religion major, my focus has been mainly on Islam and Jewish text with a little Buddhism and Hinduism thrown in. I cannot, perhaps shamefully, tell you the differences between most protestant denominations. I have had a lot of Catholic friends and I live across from a Catholic church, so I have the most proficiency in Catholicism, but it is still not entirely conversational. When it was recommended that I write about Birmingham churches, I panicked much in the same way a kid who forgot to read that night’s chapter panics when the teacher announces a pop quiz. I am the religion writer, after all.
Continue reading “Orthodox Churches of Birmingham: Hidden Gems”

I Speak for the Trees: Tu B’Shvat in B’ham

Birmingham Southern

On January 11th, Jews in Birmingham and around the world will be sitting down to the first seder of the secular year. It isn’t Passover just yet.

It is Tu B’Shvat (usually pronounced: Too Bish-vat), the New Year of the Trees. There are technically 4 different New Year’s celebrations in Judaism which take place at the start of or in the middle of Jewish months.

Continue reading “I Speak for the Trees: Tu B’Shvat in B’ham”

Never Again, Not Now, Not Later: From Bergen-Belsen to Birmingham

Commentary

Marty and Shirley Aaron have the type of romance Disney wants you to believe in.

From the BHEC Darkness into Light exhibit

Both in their 80’s, they hold hands at the grocery store, call each other sickly adorable names, and look like they were just drawn for each other in a story book.

Continue reading “Never Again, Not Now, Not Later: From Bergen-Belsen to Birmingham”