My International Women’s Day reflection

Today on International Women’s Day, I’m asking myself if I’m okay.

I’m telling myself – a woman of multiple homes – that I’m enough; I’m not ‘too much,’ I am not ‘excessive’ or ‘not enough,’ but I am just the way my Beloved made me, aspiring to the One always. 
I am valid, I am legitimate, my voice is important. 
I’m telling myself not to let toxic people shut me down. 
I’m loved, and I’m going to be okay.

This is part of me loving my community and my sisterhood. You’ve got to love yourself if you’re going to connect with others, because we are all one.

Sisters, check on yourselves. In these tough times, when communities don’t always stand together, when we push and shove because there’s not enough to go around, we’ve got to care for our hearts.

The Prophet said that if your heart was okay, everything was okay. Keep your hearts pure, strong, and well. And don’t look too long upon the darkness. 

You are loved and you are going to be okay.

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‘Dalya’s Other Country’

Today we watched the documentary film Dayla’s Other Country in my ‘Religion in Documentary Film’ class. The story focuses on a Syrian-American teen who moved to the US during the war. During class, the film generated rich and unexpected discussion about:

  • refugees
  • cultural assimilation
  • gender roles and expectations
  • gender identities and parenting (gender fluid identities, transgender, intersex, etc. and how Muslim communities and faith engage with these realities)
  • gender and parenting (how gender shapes parenting styles)
  • hijab and body politics
  • the stigma of Muslim identity in the US (post-Trump America)
  • passing and covering (Goffman)
  • masculinity (and family politics)
  • masculinity and fatherhood (patriarchy, polygyny,
  • religious schools (she attends a Catholic school, mass, Scripture class, etc.) and questions of indoctrination
  • cultural socialization (how she would be a different person if she’d been raised in Syria)
  • the ethics of documentary film making (how it affects the people filmed)
  • intra-community and interpretive diversity
  • long-distance family relationships
  • and many more!