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!
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.
Briarwood is a megachurch that sits up on a hill. When my grandmother came to visit and saw the church from the highway, she called it “Fort God.” It is not the small, Northern church with a parking lot big enough to fit a trailer that is used for Sunday School.
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.
Nightmares are strange things. No one ever asks why did this nightmare happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? Because we are told that they are part of life. We can eat right, exercise, say our nightly prayers, but we aren’t immune to horror. This is the consequence of intelligence and creativity. Continue reading “LJCC: Where We Go From Here”
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”
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”
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.
Don’t ever take a class that starts in the middle of rush hour. I tell myself this every morning. I have told myself this every morning for 8 years of my life. I have not managed to take my own advice thus far.