Tirol Cookies for Ramadan/Eid

I love to bake, and Eid ul Fitr is my favorite time to do so. Baking has been one of my most ardent expressions of joy for Eid. I normally bake and prepare a combination of Libyan, North American, Middle Eastern, and at times European sweets. Because I do a lot of baking, I tend…

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A Lesson in Mindfulness From my Infant

One of my little treasured blessings was born at the cusp of the Arab Spring. We were living in Libya, and I was just finishing up an online course with Kim West (The Sleeplady, author of the revolutionary book on baby sleep). I had my hands full with a busy home, a very large extended…

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Arabic/Turkish Coffee

As I mentioned before here, I have a love-hate relationship with what Libyans call Arabic coffee, and the rest of the world calls Turkish coffee. In North America I found that Arabic coffee is usually used to refer to Saudi coffee, which is very light (it looks like light green tea, and has a lot…

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Raising Conscientious Kids

There are a lot of concerns when you are raising kids, at any time, but our time, is especially challenging because we have ever fragmenting communities. They say it takes a village to raise a child, well the village has changed, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! We are all a small piece in…

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White Coffee

I’m a coffee enthusiast. But sometimes I like to have something different. While in Libya I discovered what in Tripoli is called “Gahwa byadha” or white coffee. It’s actually not coffee at all, it’s 100% caffeine free, but it’s warm, and for people who don’t like coffee, or just want something different once in a…

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Amira

Amira started off as an illustrator of Muslim holiday and special occasion cards, which is what grabbed my attention at first. She and I met in Tripoli, Libya, first on FB (of course), and then in person, when I invited her to be the featured artist at my Caterpillar Café, which she happily did, by…

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Diane

Diane and I initially met on a private FB group, where we interacted frequently, we shared a lot of similar values, and steadily increased communication, until we eventually met in person at her place, when she hosted a brunch for women who shared their high hopes for Libya. There were women working for the UN,…

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Khadija

  Salaam Alaykum, if I were to meet you for the first time, what would I learn about you? My name is Khadija. As an American hijab wearing Muslim I come across a lot of preconceived ideas as to which box I should fit in. When I meet people for the first time, especially since…

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Entitled

Someone in my community just wrote an opinion piece in the paper relating a recent incident that happened to her, in which she became acutely aware of the meaning of the expression “white privilege.” I read the article, and listened to her subsequent radio interview. She has gotten a lot of slack over this, apparently. I’ve…

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Salma’s Ramadan

Back home in Libya normally kids don’t go to school during Ramadan, that makes it a lot easier to be able to enjoy the month all together as a family, because we can stay up later and go back to sleep after fajr. But here (and in some Muslim countries now) kids go to school,…

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