Month: June 2017

How a Muslim Proved My Faith to Me

As one of the only American photographers living in the Kingdom of Bahrain, my services were in high demand, especially by expats who longed for pictures to memorialize their time in the Middle East but who were still American enough…

Read More

The Sensualists: Thoughts on Book 3 of The Brothers Karamazov

I should have known with a title like “the sensualists” I would not enjoy this section as much. Which is true! Just like I don’t enjoy listening to people recap tales of drunken stupidity or vomit out a stream of…

Read More

Returning to What was Left Behind

I held the gold key with its thick maroon tassel between my hands. It was my twenty-first birthday and the key was a gift my parents purchased in Spain. A memento from the old city of Grenada, once home to…

Read More

The Physical Nature of Faith

Women wrapped in stunning, bright fabrics kneeled on individual carpets. I sat on the floor, and children toddled around us all. This section of the mosque—designated for women only—was reverent, but filled with the buzzing hum of prayers, occasional whispers,…

Read More

Prayer: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Spiritual Practices

Last week I started watching Netflix’s new adaptation of Anne of Green Gables. I was skeptical. Having been raised on the 1980s version starring Megan Follows, I couldn’t fathom another actress embodying the iconic role of Anne Shirley in quite…

Read More

A (Very) Unfortunate Gathering: Thoughts on Book 2 of The Brothers Karamazov

“There is more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ten righteous men.”   “I am sorry that I cannot say anything more comforting, for active love is harsh and dreadful compared with love in dreams. Love in…

Read More

The Daughter of Muhammad

When Zain and I first met at Virginia Commonwealth University, she introduced herself as a Pakistani American and an ethnic Pashtun. Her family’s origins are in the Swat Valley. “Have you ever heard of it?” she asked me. “It’s the…

Read More

Growing Up with Buddhism

What I want to tell you about my childhood is how good it was. My parents were American Christians, but they weren’t afraid of other cultures. The very reason we went overseas was that they fell in love with the…

Read More

Not Defined by Our Broken Parts

Paul calls me on an ugly day, the sky an even, dull gray and leaking onto my window. The connection is patchy and there’s background noise on his end. But even with this, I can hear the anxiety in his…

Read More

My Christ-like Muslim Neighbor

We moved into our home three years ago. We immediately got to know other people in the neighborhood; most of who actually attended our church down the street. Having a built-in Christian community was nice. We shared faith and ideologies….

Read More