I am typing this in Atlanta as Aman sleeps and I am running on less than two hours of sleep. We have travelled across America in the past 15 days and we are only half way through our trip. This calls for a look back at some of our favorite moments and also an opportunity to share some great photos that didn’t make the cut for the blog posts.
Day 0 - Anchorage, Alaska: Aman jumps a barricaded section of a park. The sign reads that a hiker was attacked by a bear earlier that morning.
Day 1 - Anchorage, Alaska: Bassam (me) breaks fast with water while Aman waits patiently to break his fast following local time.
Day 1 - Anchorage, Alaska: Mohammad Obeidi somehow ended up as a cab driver in Anchorage in the early 1960's. He also sold paintings on the side. He now is one of the largest art collectors and art buyers of local Alaskan artists.
Day 2 - Seattle, Washington: Aman prays Maghrib (the sunset prayer) with a small congregation at a Bosnian mosque.
Day 2 - Seattle, Washington: Aman and I blog our second day posts sitting at a coffee shop turned bar after midnight.
Day 3 - Portland, Oregaon: Aman relives his childhood dreams of becoming Wolverine at an uber-hip vintage store in the mecca of hipsters, Portland.
Day 3 - Corvallis, Washington: Ali Godil watches the congregation pray taraweeh, the night prayer during Ramadan, as he writes a note to MoMo, a friend who tried to bomb a Christmas tree in Portland.
Day 3 - Corvallis, Washington: An uncle from the mosque takes his time going down the stairs.
Day 4 - Freemont, California: Kids do handstand outside of the Ta'leef Collective's main room.
Day 4 - Freemont, California: Usama Canon, co-founder of Ta'leef Collective, pours a special blend of Moroccan tea with love.
Day 6 - Las Vegas, Nevada: Amanullah poses for a picture after taking us through his journey from Afghanistan to America via photos.
Day 7 - Laramie, Wyoming: Imad, a Libyan graduate student, leaves a generous break fast meal for us and runs back to his house to break fast with his wife and daughter.
Day 7 - Laramie, Wyoming: Aman and a Jake Gyllenhaal look a like sleep in an empty mosque.
Day 7 - Laramie, Wyoming: The lone coffee shop open in Laramie til 11PM.
Day 8 - Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Nor and David sit together on their couch after sharing their letters written during David's time in prison.
Day 8 - Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Basheer Butcher is a full-blooded Native American that converted to Islam in 2001. He hails from the Sioux tribe and grew up on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.
Day 9 - Minneapolis, Minnesota: Brother Ali shares a story with Aman over a break fast meal.
Day 10 - Omaha, Nebraska: Marshall Taylor sits on the concrete that once was Malcolm X's birth home. Marshall and a close group of his friends have created a foundation that is working to create a cultural center in Omaha in his honor.
Day 10 - Omaha, Nebraska: The entire upstairs of Lutfullah's house is covered in vulgar scribbles and cryptic drawings that he has been making for the past five years.
Day 10 - Omaha, Nebraska: Dr. Zia-ul Huq, an important figure of the Islamic Center of Omaha, makes an announcement about 30 mosques. A meta moment.
Day 13 - Little Rock, Arkansas: A little girl stands in a long line for foodthat winds across the Women's area.
Day 15 - New Orleans, Louisiana: Syeed Ali, Aman's father, sits along other Muslims as they break their fast.