Bassam Tariq

Day 28: Kentucky, Mind The Space

Note: Due to certain concerns, the subject of our post has been renamed and is not present in any of the photos. Instead, we present to you his workspace, blue prints and completed designs to help tell his compelling story. Right now, in the heart of Lexington, Kentucky a white man with a thick southern accent is designing a mosque. He is designing the walls, the arched windows, the domes,

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Day 25: Iowa, The Mother Mosque in Cedar Rapids

Note: There are many families that have helped build the Cedar Rapids Muslim community. Unfortunately, I was only able to meet with a small portion of them. So please take these small accounts and stories as part of a larger history. Many mistake the Mother Mosque as being the first mosque in North America, but as we blogged a couple of days ago, Ross, North Dakota was the site of

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Day 23: Minnesota, Dar Al-Hijrah in Minneapolis

Before Break Fast, Reflection We arrive around 6 PM to Dar Al Hijrah, the local mosque in downtown Minneapolis, and are welcomed by the congregants of the community. A group of elders sit around reciting Qur’an together. They take turns reading the first part of a verse and then everyone recites the last part together. It sounds difficult, but the harmonies are incredible. Before entering the mosque, I make a

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Day 21: Breakdown in Montana

BAM / Thud / CLUNK. However you describe the sound, Aman and I hear it before we see smoke build up in front of our Chevy Cobalt. Aman panics and pulls to the side. “I think I hit a large rock.” A rock, really? We get out and inspect the car. Things look fine, we wait for the smoke to settle and get back in the car and drive forward.

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The First 15 Days in Photos

Sitting in a hallway at Montana State University — with a broken car and draining laptop battery — I feel like it’s a good time to look back at some of the best moments and photos of our first 15 days on the road.

Day 20 – Idaho, The Islamic Community of Bosniaks in Boise

Note: Due to car troubles and long drive time, this post has been made a day late. Please accept our apologies as we are trying to stay on schedule with our route. During the Ethnic Cleansings in the 1990’s, the US government helped bring thousands of Bosnian families to America. Like most refugees, they were settled in quieter parts of America, areas that are less crowded and more affordable. And

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Day 13: Islamic Society of Wichita

Taking pictures outside of the Islamic Society of Wichita, I strike up a small conversation with Ammarah, a journalism student from the local university, Wichita State, who is following us today.

The Lady Caliphs in Atlanta – A Short Video

In Atlanta, we visited the Mohammed Schools where we talked about the Lady Caliphs, the high school girls basketball team that made it to the state championships a few years ago.

Day 11 – Texas, Synott Mosque in Houston

Synott isn’t the name of the mosque we visited tonight, but that doesn’t matter because in the past ten years I’ve been frequenting it I’ve called the mosque nothing else. This is your hometown mosque, that mosque where you learned about Islam, ran into your first Muslim crush, where you volunteered at the Sunday school and picked a fight or two when you didn’t have to.  It’s that mosque where

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Day 10 – Louisiana, Zeitoun After Zeitoun, A Photo Essay (Pt. 2)

AbdulRahman Zeitoun is an iconic American Muslim. But if you tell him this, he will shrug and change the subject. He doesn’t talk much about the book written about him or the animated movie that is in the works (directed by Oscar winner Jonathan Demme). He’d rather talk about his painting company or the masjid that he helps run. For those who are not familiar with Zeitoun, I strongly recommend

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Day 9 – Alabama, Epic Fail.

Last night in the Jacksonville mosque, Aman and I decided to change today’s route from Birmingham, Alabama to Mobile, Alabama. The cause for the change of heart – word of mouth said that Muslims own about 95% of the car dealerships in Mobile, and at that time,  it sounded like a nice phenomena to cover. We enter Mobile, Alabama around 6:30 p.m. and see a wide array of car dealerships

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Day 5 – Washington D.C., Masjid Muhammad

Xavier is ten years old and attends KIP elementary. He devours a watermelon slice sitting next to me and talks about his school. “I’m in fifth grade.” he says, “the school I go to is called Knowledege is P…”  He pauses and realizes he doesn’t know what the P stands for, but swears it’s not Power. Xavier and I are sitting together breaking our fast at Masjid Mohammad, but Xavier

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Day 4 – Pennsylvania, Bawa’s Fellowship, A Photo Essay (Pt. 2)

We arrive in Coatesville, PA around 5:30 PM at the East Fallowfield farm.  It is cold and cloudy. I get out of our Chevy Cobalt and walk towards something called the “Bawa Garden.” The stop here is supposed to be a short one. We are scheduled to be at United Muslim Mosque in Philadelphia for break fast.  We are greeted by a man named Chuck who meets us with three

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Day 3 – Massachusetts, Islamic Society of Boston

I am sitting at a table poking the desert on my plate. Not sure what it’s called, but it’s probably not good for my already troubled stomach [CLICK PHOTO TO READ MORE]

Day 1 – New York, Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood (Pt. 1)

It was nice to be welcomed back to the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood (MIB) with its trademark green cement. We visited this mosque last year during our NYC trek. It was one of the most hospitable and historical centers we visited [click photo to read more]