30Mosques.com | LOOKING BACK

By Bassam Tariq

Tired in NYC.

They say that nostalgia is one of the most useless human emotions. What do you get from sulking or waxing about the past? Maybe this isn’t that. Maybe this is just a reflection on some of the moments that can’t seem to leave my mind.

Day 3: Corvallis, Oregon – Letters To Your “Terrorist” Friend.

We meet friends of a convicted terrorist and ask them a simple question: If they could say anything to their friend, what would it be? In the beginning, many were nervous about sharing their thoughts, but as they eased into it we were able to get some incredibly thoughtful and emotional responses.

Day 5: Honolulu, Hawaii – Ten Hours Of Shoddy Tourism

I tried to break down my entire 10 hour Hawaii trip hour-by-hour. It was an ambitious idea. Not sure if people got what I was trying to do.

Day 8: Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Finding Love In Prison

One of the most unforgettable visits on the trip for me is when I met David outside of the mosque. Within five minutes of us meeting one another he started sharing stories about his stay in prison. He then cuts himself off and apologizes for having a big mouth.

“I talk too much.” he admits.

David is human like all of us and isn’t afraid to show it. His story about how he met his wife is one of the most incredible stories that we have ever found during our 30 Mosques trip. A must read.

Day 13: Little Rock, Arkansas – Lessons Learned

One of the most controversial posts this year came from my experiences in the Women’s side. Many people sadly missed my sarcasm in the writing and thought that I had forced my way into the women’s area. Just to set the record straight for those who still wonder, we had complete permission to go into the women’s side and all the photos have the women have been cleared.

Day 20: Plainfield, Indiana – Understanding the MSA Experience

Many Muslims have had very different experiences with the Muslim Students’ Association in their universities and colleges. I thought my experience of being stuck in a bubble was a unique one, but it turns out that many Muslims have also felt the same way.

Day 22: Washington, DC – Visiting A Gay Imam

Hands down, the most controversial post that 30 Mosques has ever made. Though we never said we agreed or accepted the Daaiyee Abdullah’s choices, we were thrown under the bus for empathizing with another Muslim. It was sad to see the lack of adab, Islamic values, people had when speaking about homosexuality.

Day 29: The Journey Of Arriving To America

Every time I see the photo of Fawaad and his son on an airplane, I can’t help but get goosebumps. The family is on their way to the US from a war ridden Congo. The mood of the photo is conflicting. There is uncertainty and concern riddled with hope and promise. It was one of the most vulnerable and honest photos I have ever seen.

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