I visited the 9/11 memorial this summer. Finally. It took a long time for me to feel "ready" to see this place after such tragedy in my beloved city. Instead of writing about it in words, I will share photos of what I saw. It was a quiet place, with the exception of the rushing water into the North and South pools. I hope to share that atmosphere with you.
Ten years ago. TEN. Blue skies. Slightly crisp air. A normal day. At home, on hold for a tri-regional conference call with the TV on. News reports a plane hit the towers. I saw and thought, immediately, that is NOT an accident. When you’re from New York, you know that you can’t hit the towers or any other building by accident. You typically fly up one of the rivers, high above the city, but close enough that you can easily identify the towering buildings. But no, you can’t accidentally hit one. Not possible.
Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq are gearing up for their 30 mosque Ramadan Roadtrip 2011 – their plan is to visit Alaska, Hawaii and the other states that the missed on the first trip. 30 mosques, 30 states, 30 days – all during Ramadan in the month of August. Knowing these guys as I do, they’ll do it despite the exhausting schedule! But, as the expression goes, it takes a village and therefore I’m blogging about it to ask for you to help spread the word.
Here is a video of Aman and Bassam talking about the 2011 plan:
Here is how you can donate to the project: No amount is too small: $5, $10 or whatever you can afford! Just know that your donation will go toward the sharing of authentic stories about Muslims in America.
Meeting Aman and Bassam in 2010 at a local mosque was one of the highlights of my own personal exploration of spirituality in America. It helped me to address my own stereotypes and to better understand myself, my country and Islam.
I have had the honor of bringing Aman and Bassam to campuses across the US this past year. You can read more about the response people had to their presentations across the country. Needless to say, we were all humbled by the grace of their message and their wisdom that extends well beyond their years.
If you are interested in booking the 30 mosques presentation at your college, university or organization, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, I’d like to thank Aman and Bassam for inspiring so many of us. They have even inspired me to explore my own road trip! Any ideas? (I’m serious!) 🙂
I have spoken with many people this past year who have not been able to afford to attend the national NAFSA conference in Vancouver, or the Forum on Education Abroad's gathering that recently took place in Boston.
Steve Moore and I spoke about his perspective on the bin Laden killing and Steve's time in the FBI as a SWAT operator with sniper certification, Supervisor of Al-Quaeda investigations for the LA field office and as a case agent for bombing of the US consulate in Karachi.
The news is jaw dropping. It is raw, huge. It fills the room, the country, the world. Osama bin-Laden is dead. I wrote a blog post just a few days ago about teachable moments with the tenth anniversary of 9/11 in mind.
This is a tough post for me to write. It is nearly impossible to imagine that it has been a decade since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
I had the pleasure of participating in a radio interview with Arnd Wächter and Dr. David Owusu-Ansah on Tom Graham's "Virginia Insight"show.
Some people are put on this planet to be heard. Ibrahim Abdul-Matin is one of those people. I am left wondering, "If we could only figure out a way to channel his generous and informed energy, I think we'd be able to solve some of the world's energy issues!"
I had the unique opportunity of sitting down, one on one, with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Please enjoy this our conversation: