There is something almost magical about New York as summer turns to fall. The changing of the seasons brings a spirit of renewal. People hurry to school and work, propelled by dreams and ambitions. The leaves shift from green to orange. But this beauty is transient. In the evening, when I go on my walks, I look at the two blue lights beaming into the heavens from just south of the old World Trade Center and I try to hold my gaze there. I never last long.
When the Sept. 11 attacks happened, I was an 11-year-old Muslim boy suddenly confused about the world and unsure of my place in it.… Seguir leyendo »
Whenever someone used to ask me if I was Muslim, I often gave an evasive answer, something like, “I was born Muslim” or “My parents are Muslim.”
It was a strange way to phrase it. I told myself that the purpose of this hairsplitting was intellectual clarity, despite the fact that I had attended a mosque my entire childhood, that I had read the Quran in both Arabic and English, and that I felt personally connected to the history of Islam. Perhaps this was the natural recourse for someone who came of age after 9/11 and was taught to retreat into invisibility because of the dangers of being Muslim.… Seguir leyendo »
A certain irony registered on the calendars of Persian Gulf residents on Dec. 18: That Wednesday was both Qatar’s National Day and International Migrants Day — a notable coincidence considering the fact that 90 percent of Qatar’s population is made up of migrant workers.
As the host of the first FIFA World Cup to be held in the Middle East, Qatar will be bringing the tournament to a soccer-obsessed region. Indeed, Qatar’s leaders have promoted their bid to host the World Cup as a chance to bridge cultural divides, a friendly meeting of civilizations on the soccer pitch. In the words of Hassan al-Thawadi, chief executive of Qatar’s bid, “Qatar 2022 can be a watershed moment.”… Seguir leyendo »