Reflections on a senior center

By Abdullahi Guled Before I walked into the senior center, I did not know what to expect. I never really interacted with the elderly much. I never got the chance to see my grandparents and most of the old people I encountered were usually my dad’s acquaintances. I would let my dad do the talking in those situations because I never felt like I had to interact with them. The visit to the senior center was different because I was expected to have conversations with elderly people I had never met before.

My Time in a Madrassa

By Marcia Lynx Qualey, Engage Minnesota Several years ago, I would have told you confidently—if haltingly—that I worked in a madrassa. Ana bashtaghal fi madrassa, I would’ve said. I worked there as a mudarissa, a teacher. Madrassa and mudarissa were two of the first words to drop into my growing Arabic vocabulary. After all, I’d traveled all the way to Cairo, Egypt to take a job teaching pre-K at an international school. The words were useful. For me, the word madrassa was almost empty of connotations, like escuela or école. When I first learned them, the words had no layers: Read More …

Students Deserve Equal Religious Rights Under the Law

By Fedwa Wazwaz and Marcia Lynx Qualey, Engage Minnesota On April 9, we read Katherine Kersten’s column in the Star Tribune, and the e-mail exchange between Kersten and Asad Zaman, executive director of Tariq ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), and were compelled to respond. I (Fedwa) have an eight-year-old daughter. I visited TIZA and decided not to enroll my daughter, choosing instead Al Amal School in Fridley. The primary reason is that I was convinced TIZA is not an Islamic School and does not teach Islamic Education to kids. I pay from my own pocket to put my daughter in Al Read More …