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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 22: Ross, North Dakota – A Leap in Time

Bassam and I stress over our planned visit to Fargo, North Dakota. We didn’t expect our rental car to break down in Montana and the time it took to fix the car (thank you all for the prayers!) is making us late. It takes 11 hours to get to Fargo and getting there at a reasonable time is simply not going to happen now. Instead we program our GPS to

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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 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.

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 10 – Louisiana, Spending time with family in New Orleans (Pt. 1)

There are millions of people in New Orleans that can tell you stories about how they’re struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

But a different kind of story here hits close to home for me because it’s about my brother Salman.

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 6 – North Carolina, Masjid Ash-Shaheed in Charlotte

I looked at Feroz Mahal, a tall and burly Punjabi man with an “I Love Canada” lanyard around his neck, from across the room and slowly gravitated towards him. He drove a tractor trailer thousands of miles from Vancouver, Canada and somehow wound up here in the mosque to be among the congregants of Masjid Ash-Shaheed, a predominantly African American mosque that is so inviting to anyone that comes inside

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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 4 – Pennsylvania, United Muslim Masjid in Philadelphia (Pt. 1)

Apparently it’s not an uncommon sight in Philadelphia to see female parking meter attendants that cover up their faces in full niqab. It’s that kind of “I’m Muslim, so you’re just going to have to deal with it” attitude that’s so refreshing to me. Before coming to Philly, I asked many of my friends there which place I should check out when I come. Every single one of them pointed

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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 2 – Maine, Refugees in Portland (Pt. 2)

Before heading out to Boston today, Bassam and I stayed in Maine a bit longer to meet a large refugee population of people from Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and Sudan. [CLICK THE PHOTO TO READ MORE]

Day 2 – Maine, Islamic Society of Augusta (Pt. 1)

Sitting among the 12 families that make up Augusta’s Muslim community, where the nearest halal restaurant is 45 minutes away, made me forget all about New York. [CLICK PHOTO TO READ MORE]

Day 1 – New York, Ground Zero Mosque (Pt. 2)

Bassam and I walked into the “Ground Zero Mosque” expecting to feel transformed, knowing the fact that I was praying inside the place that’s practically been mentioned in the news every 20 minutes. [CLICK THE 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]

Ramadan Mubarak!

Tomorrow, Thursday begins the first step in our next Ramadan adventure. We will be starting from the Masjid of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem and will be heading out to Augusta, Maine in the morning. If you are in the New York City area, please do come out and catch us.

Pardon Our Dust

Our website will be going under some revamping in the next two to three days. Our content from the NYC Ramadan adventure will be shifted. If you have any suggestions of what you’d like added, please do tell us.

Let the Countdown Begin!

Hmm, I should print t-shirts that say “30 Mosques 2010 Road Tour.” Actually, I’m still single, so I should probably not. We’re a little more than two weeks away before we start our journey and many of you guys have asked us where we’re going. Here’s the official list and we hope to meet a lot of you guys if we come through your neck of the woods. Above is

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30 Mosques in 30 States

So there’s a change of plans. After scratching our heads in two different parts of the world (Aman in the United States and me, Bassam, in Pakistan), we’re going to step away from the 30 countries idea and try something cool that we’ll be able to pull off this year. Aman and I just got off the phone confirming that starting August 11th or 12th — depending on the moon,

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