30 Mosques in 30 Days: An American Adventure
We can only imagine how diverse the US is! Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq were inspired to find out, so during Ramadan 2011 (and 2010), Islam’s holy month of fasting and reflection, these two young New Yorkers took a road trip across America (including Hawaii and Alaska), stopping to break fast at a different mosque in a different state each day. The two drove thousands of miles to 30 states each year and blogged about it daily on their web site. During the 2011 trip, they met an incredible diverse Muslim community in Anchorage, Alaska who are struggling to build a mosque, hung out with a woman in Washington who claims to be both Christian and Muslim, ate dinner with wildly popular hip hop artist Brother Ali in Minnesota, and broke out of their shells to try to understand women’s perspective on Islam at a mosque in Arkansas. Their journey explores what it means to be Muslim in America today, and serves as a powerful counter-narrative to the media’s image of a monolithic Islam, receiving coverage on ABC News, the BBC, CNN, Time, NPR, Fox News, Huffington Post and Al-Jazeera English.
Here is the BBC’s interview.
Here is the 30 mosques interview on Al-Jazeera English in August 2011 (scroll down for more great feedback about this project!)
Feedback on 30 mosques:
“Splendid is really too conservative of a word to describe what Aman did yesterday. He is really good at reading an audience and was supremely engaging. Thank you for providing us with this opportunity–Definitely money well spent!” (Administrator, Ashland University)
“It was one of the best events I have ever been to at my university (and I go to almost one a day). The two presenters were great speakers and kept it interesting.” (Student, DePauw University)
“You guys inspire me and I think what you are doing is just amazing!” (Student, Model United Nations conference)
“Hearing the story of your journey reminded us how amazing being a Muslim American actually is. It was nice to hear the stories of Muslim families trying to make it in the US. Nicely done!” (Student, Loyola College)
“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You injected energy, love, light and life in my soul. Thank you!” (Community member)
“For the first time I felt like I could really connect in a way with those who follow the Muslim faith. Their use of humor was, I thought, a much more effective tactic for engaging others in inquiring further into Muslim-American identity than typical news stories, which tend to promote misunderstanding and fear. Laughing at or with something makes it seem much more approachable. I really appreciated Aman and Bassam’s use of humor in telling a story that not many non-Muslims would initially be able to relate to.” (Student, DePauw University)
“I absolutely loved your presentation! It was really awesome to learn that underneath all the media coverage, reality is actually better than what the media is presenting. Thanks for coming out here!” (Student, UNCA)
“Saw you guys last night at Harvard and thought your presentation was fantastic!” (Student, Harvard University)
“I think it is great what you guys are doing and you also inspired me to embrace my religion more than I do – thanks guys!” (Student, Ramapo College)
Click here for Melibee Global’s interview with Aman and Bassam. (Aman and Bassam are based in New York City.)