Day 30: Stop Making Sense, Eid in Detroit

By Bassam Tariq | 48 Comments »

You have traveled 13,000 miles around America in 29 days all while fasting and blogging everyday. And today, the 30th day of your journey, the celebration, you are late to the mosque. In fact, you are so late that the traffic jam in the parking lot has already passed. You enter the mosque in hopes of catching the last sentiments of Ramadan and grand embraces that happen after prayer, but that too has passed. You are directed to go towards the gymnasium where a large number of the congregants are eating samosas and drinking chai. You run towards the gymnasium in hopes to maybe at least get some photos of happy people. You enter the large space and see everyone leaving and wonder, “how am  I going to make this work?”

Go ahead, you know you want to say it, this sucks. Especially since you have come to Detroit on one of the most important holidays, away from your family and friends, to celebrate Eid with strangers.

But then there is that part of you that shrugs it off and starts snapping whatever you see. You take mindless photos, photos of people taking photos, photos of people praying Friday prayers, boys choking other boys, uncles playing ping pong and an Obama-themed gas station. Happy moments, non-sensical ones, but mostly things that don’t add up to a cohesive narrative and for the first time during this entire adventure you don’t care.

Today is Eid and we are celebrating it wherever and however we can. Let’s leave making sense for later.

Eid Mubarak everyone.

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  1. September 11th, 2010 | Irfana says:

    Eid Mubarak Bassam!

  2. September 11th, 2010 | Sid says:

    Eid Mubarak guys. Great job!

  3. September 11th, 2010 | N. Haris says:

    Eid Mubarak. Just came to know about your excellent trip today from Al Jazeera. A significant glimpse of muslims in the U.S. via your 30 mosques journey -it gives me a picture of what’s life like to be a muslim in the U.S. I have not read all your 30 days journey but will do it soon.

  4. September 11th, 2010 | Ahlam says:

    There’s something beautiful and powerful about the simplicity of this ending. Or maybe it was Shatila? :)

    Hijabs..errr…hats off to you both for a successful journey.

  5. September 11th, 2010 | Yasmina says:

    Eid mubarak guys!! Great journey and thanks for sharing with us all!

    Everyone please read this story and email-

    so enlightening and eye opening indeed.

  6. September 11th, 2010 | Hena says:

    haha wow you went to the homes of one of my best friend’s, komal’s house. i was probably there just a few minutes before you got there, then of course you guys were at shatila.
    eid mubs guys.

  7. September 11th, 2010 | M says:

    Eid Mubarak! Congrats on completing your trip, mA!

    I think the pictures of families and friends smiling and laughing and hugging pretty much sums up Eid for me. That’s your cohesive narrative right there.

  8. September 11th, 2010 | aliya says:

    Dear Bassam and Aman,

    First of all, Eid Mubarak mera bacha!

    I’ve read all your blogs and I waited anxiously for the next post. Each and every post was enlightening as the one before it. There was quality in each post and had a lot of insightful information. And whenever I read a post, I felt as if I was there with you and that you were talking to me. Day and night I prayed for the well being of you both, that Allah (SWT) keeps both you safe and in good health. I’d read ayatul kursi every time I thought of you.
    Every time anyone is to read ayatul kursi, Allah (SWT) sends an angel for their security (Subhanallah). The blessing of Allah (SWT) and a mother’s prayer guides a child and casts a shadow that protects them. And whatever prayer a mother makes for her child, no other can compare.

    It’s in my dua’s that Allah (SWT) leads you to the path of success and takes you wherever you wish to go. Take each step knowing that your actions will benefit not only yourself but your family as well. And I pray that Allah (SWT) keeps you on this profound path that you have chosen and rewards you in this life and the hereafter.

    Mera bacha, Allah (SWT) app kho bhot kush aur abbad rakhay bhai kei saat aur maa baap kai saat.
    I wait for the day you come home and I can give you a big hug.
    Lots of love,

    You mom

  9. September 11th, 2010 | Hasan G. says:

    The Ping Pong Uncle picture alone makes this post. If anyone needs proof that Muslims are a happy and fun-loving people, they need only see that picture.

    Congrats on the end of your journey, I’m sure you’ll see a lot of copy cats next year (maybe even me :P )

  10. September 11th, 2010 | Sue says:


    I swear this looks like Troy, not Detroit. But masjids often look similar and I don’t hang out on the brother’s side.

  11. September 11th, 2010 | Canadian Woman says:

    These photos brought tears to my eyes — they show great joy and a sense of “rightness” in their simplicity.

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey and teaching so much.

  12. September 11th, 2010 | Minyong says:

    Masha’allah, you’ve arrived! Ahhh… Michigan, one of my favorite Muslim communities in the whole wide world. And one of my favorite experiences with non-Muslim Americans that I carry with me in my heart everywhere I might find myself. Bassam and Aman, I will miss you guys, definitely. Eid Kareem and wish you a happy year, darlings.

  13. September 11th, 2010 | Josh says:

    Hey guys, I just spent the end of my September 11th reading almost your entire blog. I’m so glad you did this. You are delivering a message and a witness that America and the world needs to see and hear. The reality of the Muslim experience here in America is rich. We are blessed by the presence of Muslim immigrants past, present, and future. I’m scared about the future and how we’ll all get along, but I hope America can show the world a way to do it peacefully and respectfully. Your project made great strides in showing how that is being lived out in many places by people of all faiths and also the reality of our nation’s shortcomings.

    I just heard a news blurb on BBC World Service that somewhere in the world Muslim people were chanting “death to America” today. Well, I hope those people don’t get their wish because America is as much you and the people I met through this blog tonight as it is me and my Scandinavian and German relatives. And when we hear people in this country say things like Islam is an intolerant faith and Muslims are violent people or whatever else, your project here will give us something to remember the reality of a diverse community here and around the world.

    I served as a Lutheran pastor in Fargo-Moorhead and I wish you had stopped there, but I’m glad the rock helped you find Ross. Fargo-Moorhead is another community of great diversity and (perhaps unexpected) hospitality. I had muslim refugees who had been persecuted by Christians in their homelands and Christian refugees who had been persecuted by Muslims come through the church door on several occasions, asking for assistance, for someone to listen to their story, for help seeing this land as their new home. I wish we were all better at sharing this land as a place of healing and sharing our stories with each other. I’m glad you are good at doing that and shared your skills and stories with us. Keep an open door, an open ear, and an open mind wherever you go from here. Many blessings.

  14. September 12th, 2010 | rehan says:

    I’m offended by this comment!

  15. September 12th, 2010 | Anonymous says:

    It’s Lokhandwala uncle!

  16. September 12th, 2010 | Danial Ma says:

    Hej! Eid Mubarak to both of you…have a blessed eid…

  17. September 12th, 2010 | Batool says:

    Assalamualaikum, Jazakallah for a wonderful idea that showed everyday Muslims and their masjids. We ned to reach out and show America who we really are. Your generation is equipped to do this, you have masajid and schools that have already been built, we need to expand now, Inshallah. Just a comment on your CNN interview, we are Muslimd and whatever we say reflects on the whole community, please watch your language, it might be a way of speaking, but do not pollute your tongues with words like “shit” etc. Just a suggestion from a mom you met in Canton, MI on Eid day.

  18. September 12th, 2010 | SSM says:

    Belated Eid Mubarak to both of you. And thank you for taking this inititative and expose the American world of Islam. In these times, we need more reports of these kind. So thank you for a great job!

  19. September 12th, 2010 | C Palmer says:

    Very interesting! I started following you guys after seeing you on CNN. A fascinating exploration, that has allowed many of us to see a glimpses of the diversity of the Muslim culture and the people that are our neighbors.

  20. September 12th, 2010 | Fatemah says:

    Eid Mubarak to you,
    I really enjoyed reading this blog,
    It really gives an insight to the diverse muslims in the USA. Well done guys.

  21. September 12th, 2010 | Abbas says:

    Eid Mubarak to you too! Or as we say in southeast Asia, Selemat Hari Raya!

  22. September 12th, 2010 | Anonymous says:

    it is troy masjid?

  23. September 12th, 2010 | Komal says:

    great having you guys at my parents house, everyone enjoyed your celebrity status and the aunties still don’t know why Bassam was taking pictures. hope you enjoyed the food!

  24. September 12th, 2010 | Steph says:

    Thank you for the beautiful glimpse into the diversity of the Muslim community and some of its many facets. I learned a lot along your journey about your faith and practices. I appreciate you both for sharing your journey with the world. Especially those of us who live in less tolerant parts of the country. Peace.

  25. September 13th, 2010 | Fasiha says:

    ya’ll went to Shatila…i LOVE that place! Eid mubarak!

  26. September 13th, 2010 | Sanctioned says:


  27. September 13th, 2010 | Zeeshan(india) says:

    Salaam alia kum

    Eid Mubarak !!

  28. September 13th, 2010 | Seema says:

    Congratulations to both of you! Your mom’s letter to you in this post bought tears to my eyes. I can only feel her relief at the completion of your trip. Hope you can enlighten and entertain us again in the future.

  29. September 14th, 2010 | Michigan Muhi says:

    It was great having you stop by Canton and I’m sure everywhere you went you enjoyed hearing stories of how the communities started. Keep up the great work and be sure to remember us throughout the year!

    If you’re ever back in MI don’t hesitate to call.

  30. September 14th, 2010 | Ali W says:

    I started reading your blog after learning about it on I was hooked and kept coming back to read more each day. Even though I had been living in the US for 13 years until recently (currently in Pakistan); I didn’t know that Muslims lived in so many different places in the US and there was so much history. This blog is a must read for all opposing Park51 community center; and for anyone else who wants to learn about Muslims in the US. Thank you for such a journey and keeping us informed.

  31. September 14th, 2010 | Habeeb says:

    Eid Mubarak guys….You guys came to Canton, and you didn’t call me. Maybe next time. Great Job!!

  32. September 27th, 2010 | May says:

    i love that PingPong Uncle Picture, somehow gives me warm..
    Thanks, Bassam&Aman

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    Ne güzel bir gezi yapmışsınız tebrik ederim doğrusu keşke doğru düzgün ingilizcem olsada türkceye çevirebilsem bu yazdıklarınızıda ülkemizde yayınlasam turkey

  34. October 21st, 2010 | Anonymous says:

    Follow me as embark on my Hajj journey…

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