DAY 14




by Bassam Tariq

The following is a Google chat conversation with my wife while driving to New Orleans. A larger story on Houston will follow.  

A-dawg: sup

B-unit: Not much, on our way to New Orleans.

B-unit: Aman and I just stopped to take some pictures of the cotton growing you mentioned before leaving:

A-dawg: those are great!

A-dawg: so do you miss Houston already?

B-unit: family and friends, yes. The place, not so much.

A-dawg: what’s wrong with Houston?

B-unit: I duno, it’s never been encouraging.

B-unit: there is nothing to do here.

B-unit: last year, when we did the trip – we visited the community i grew up in, which was great.


A-dawg: yea, I read it.

A-dawg: we were supposed to meet up that day..

B-unit: haha I remember that. There just wasn’t enough time.

A-dawg: there never is. You are always on the run. m

A-dawg: is that why you like NYC better?

B-unit: It’s not that i like it better. it just feels like there is no sense of urgency here.

B-unit: and people just were never very encouraging here.

A-dawg: what do you mean?

B-unit: like last year, before we embarked on the 30 Mosques trip, i came to visit my parents (and you)  when i told some people what i was doing. They just couldn’t understand why.

B-unit: they wondered if the project is profitable..

A-dawg: yeah, but i gave you a hard time too when we met.

A-dawg: that was a nice meeting

B-unit: ha yeah, i bought that big book from pakistan and a collection of photos i took in pakistan.

B-unit: hoping to impress you. haha

A-dawg: lol

A-dawg: but anyway –  i don’t know why the lack of urgency is a bad thing

A-dawg: i think people do a good job here of soaking it all in.

B-unit: what does that even mean?

A-dawg: iftar parties last into the night. things may move slower but maybe it’s because people here are taking time to enjoy the things that matter to the

A-dawg: like being around family and friends

B-unit: yeah, good point. People in new york never stop for one another. Everything is work, work, work.

B-unit: here’s what I think of Houston:

A-dawg: yikes thats rough.

A-dawg: here’s what I think:

B-unit: riveting..?

A-dawg: lol but there is heart here. In the strip malls and large winding freeways. nyc may have more history but it just doesn’t have the kindness and big hearted

B-unit: mehhh check out this gif i just made.

A-dawg: what? whos that?

B-unit: some uncle that was screaming at the pakistani independence day flag raising i went to. i was hoping there would be singing and dancing. but there really wasn’t much happening.

A-dawg:hm ok. i dont know if it’s doing anything for me.

B-unit: here is a picture of the event:

A-dawg: did you stay for the flag raising?

B-unit: couldn’t. they were taking too long.

B-unit: plus your family was coming over to break fast with mine. I had to get ready and stuff.

A-dawg: oh yeah, thats why you couldnt make it to the mosque.

B-unit: yea… i didnt want to disrespect your family or even mine.

B-unit: my mother cooked so much.

A-dawg: lol. she did.

A-dawg: so are you worried that you didnt get a chance to break fast at a mosque?

B-unit: I was a little bit in the beginning. but we needed a pitstop. It’s sad that it’s houston thats the pit stop. but i’ll figure out how to talk about the comunity.

B-unit: btw i really liked this man’s mustache. i think this is my next stab at it.

A-dawg: lol

B-unit: so are you back to work today?

A-dawg: yeah, back in the office.

B-unit: better than being out in this crazy heat.

A-dawg: lol. again hating on houston.

A-dawg: I guess i’ll never understand what your problem with houston is.

B-unit: ….


A-dawg: there’s just no getting to you..

B-unit: but you know. houston is still home for me.

A-dawg: really?

A-dawg: you have like disowned this place

B-unit: no i havent

A-dawg: alright. other then your family being here. what makes this home?

B-unit: because this is where we met.

B-unit: the debate tournaments, borders bookstore.

A-dawg: har har.

B-unit: lol, im being serious. i dont know if we’ll be here in the future, but for a starting place i dont think i know a prouder place to mention where it all began when sharing our story.

A-dawg: :)


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  • Fashraf

    people still use AIM?

  • Biru

    that gif is hilarious. “Uncle Warcry” would be a good name for it :P

  • Muslimahoustoian

    Don’t let a few people mar your perception of support in Houston. You and Aman have alot of fans and enthusiastic readers. There is alot of energy and charisma here that you are simply out of touch with. A new generation of young leaders in our city bringing in new projects and fertile land for new ideas. I think your opinions are intrinsic to your own experiences. But perhaps if you looked with a less biased eye, you might find your notions of Houston as outdated and simply wrong.

    • muslimahoustoian

      assalaamualaikum wr wb:

      i’d like to update my comment and change it. is there any way of editing your own comment? after re-reading it, i felt like it was attacking the brother instead of trying to persuade him that some of his notions of houston’s lack of encouragment were simply untrue! i’m really sorry! wanted to re-emphasize the love you both have from everyone in tx and beyond mashaAllah. may Allah swt bless you both! how can i change my comment? thanks!

      • Bassam Tariq

        Hey Muslimahoustoian, I completely understand what you are saying.

        This is a google chat conversation between my wife and I. We both grew up in Houston and have our families there.

        • Imad Khan

          Oh, i thought A-dawg was Aman…Which i guess really doesn’t make sense. But it was the only person I could think of associated with this blog.

          • Bassam Tariq

            oh wow. i guess i didnt realize it wasn’t clear. thanks imad. am going to be a little more blatant.

  • Zoya

    cute :)

    may Allah bless your marriage immensely!

  • Brusselea

    Masha’Allah. I was born in Texas, raised in Nebraska, but when I moved to NYC, I knew I was home.

  • H.ali

    I heard there’s a cool Turkish mosque somewhere in Houston that might have been more interesting/different from the typical Houston scene…maybe next year inshAllah.

  • Innostranka

    where’s the actual story you promised?

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