Friday, December 30, 2011

Pernah pergi Fresno?

Pernah sampai ke satu tempat bernama  Fresno?
Fresno ialah satu daerah yang terletak di bahagian tengah California.


Fresno mungkin satu nama asing bagi orang di Malaysia. Tahun 80an dahulu tempat ini telah menjadi pusat pengajian bagi ratusan pelajar tajaan Mara dan JPA. Sekiranya berada dikampus ketika itu,kita akan bersua dengan begitu ramai  pelajar Malaysia .

Fresno terletak di satu lembah  yang di panggil San Joaquin Valley (Cara menyebutnya  sen wakin Veli). Ia mempunyai iklim mediterranean yang amat sesuai untuk penanaman buahan buahan citrus seperti limau(oranges),anggur, ceri, plums,apricot dan peach. 

Navel oranges-
jenis oranges yang terdapat di Fresno
Sewaktu belajar dahulu aku pernah dibawa oleh keluarga angkatku ke ladang  oren untuk memilih dan memetik buah oren yang manis untuk di bawa balik. MasyaAllah,berguni- guni jugalah kami bawa balik. Satu pengalaman yang tak mudah di lupakan terutama sekali apabila terpaksa naik di belakang pick up truck yang penuh dengan buah oren. 

Setelah bertahun-tahun belajar  di lembah ini, sebagai pelajar kami tidak lagi membeli buah oren ini di supermarket tapi di Farmer's Market. Kami tidak membelinya dengan timbangan kilo sebaliknya memborong satu kotak sekali. Jangan bimbang! Biasanya kami dapat menghabiskan satu kotak buah oren ini kurang dari 2 minggu.

Tahun 2009 aku telah mengajak keluargaku ke ladang ceri tak jauh dari Fresno untuk merasai sendiri keseronokan memetik buah- buahan itu. Alhamdulillah meskipun kami terpaksa masuk ke kawasan pedalaman ,ianya merupakan satu pengalaman yang menyeronokkan bagi kami sekeluarga.

Ingin  mengikuti bagaimana keseronokan kami sekeluarga di ladang ceri tersebut? Klik di sini.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kisah Benar Solat Pelajar Sekolah Menengah

Pemandangan dari masjid besi(Masjid Sultan Mizan)
 menghadap masjid Putrajaya
"You tahu tak macamana solat budak-budak di sekolah I. Tak lama dahulu I panggil Wakil Raudatus Sakinah bagi talk kat sekolah. Dia orang tanya dan minta jawapan secara jujur berapa kali pelajar- pelajar di sana solat dalam sehari ?  Tau ke majoriti solat berapa kali sehari?"cerita seorang sahabatku, seorang pengetua  di sebuah tanah rancangan. 

Aku tidak menjawab. Hanya membiarkan saja ia menceritakan dengan seribu satu keluhan  tentang sekolahnya . "Sekali sehari! Bukan tiga, bukan lima! Itu pun tau bila? Masa di sekolahlah.... time kami wajibkan semua pelajar solat  zuhur setiap hari. "

" Ini maknanya kat rumah dia orang langsung tak solat! Pening, pening...." sambungnya lagi.

Itulah apa yang diceritakan oleh sahabatku ketika bertemu dalam satu majlis reunion baru baru ini. Rupa- rupanya bukan di bandar saja masalah ini timbul bahkan di kampung dan di tanah rancangan seperti Felda dan Felcra juga budaya mengambil ringan tentang solat semakin berleluasa.


 Satu golongan remaja yang tahu dan sudah belajar tentang cara menunaikan solat namun enggan menerima dalam hati masing masing bahawa solat itu wajib dan tidak takut mendapat balasan di akhirat kelak. Oleh sebab itu saya tidak anggap mereka  jahil, bahkan ada pelajar sekoah agama pun masih liat untuk bersolat. 

Usahlah kita mengutuk atau mengata tentang  golongan ini tapi hakikatnya golongan pelajar ini  memang wujud dan realitinya situasi ini bukan melibatkan seorang sahaja. Malah tanpa kita sedari orang ini mungkin jiran kita sendiri dan ahli keluarga kita sendiri.


Bagi remaja,perbuatan menyuruh dan menyuruh jarang sekali berkesan kerana jiwa remaja biasanya memberontak dan jarang menerima perkataan yang menyuruh dan memerintah melainkan yang menyuruhnya ibu atau bapa mereka sendiri. Ada ketikanya kita perlukan idea untuk mencetuskan kesedaran. Yang pentingnya kita jangan berputus asa dengan berdakwah pada golongan ini. insyaalah, hidayah Allah akan sampai kepada mereka.


Pernah aku terdengar seorang mat rock  mendapat hidayah sewaktu mendengar nasyid semasa memandu. Tiba tiba hatinya pilu dan air matanya bercucuran menginsafi betapa jauhnya dia tersimpang daripada kehidupan yang sepatutnya diikuti meskipun telah menjadi seorang muslim sejak lahir lagi. Situasi ini telah berlaku di negara kita. Bahkan hidayah cara begini ini kemungkinan berlaku pada kita sendiri. Alhamdulillah, jika ianya berlaku sebelum terlewat dan kita belum menyimpang jauh dari kehidupan sepatutnya.

Sebenarnya kita semua mempunyai peranan samada kita berpengetahuan luas dalam agama ataupun tidak. Ia mungkin berlaku pada anak- anak kita, adik beradik kita, kawan- kawan kita atau orang di sekeliling kita. Apa yang perlu kita ingat kita mempunyai peranan dalam menyedarkan mereka tapi kita perlu cara tersendiri untuk berdakwah kepada mereka.

Bawalah hati kita berehat....dan rehat sebenar ada dalam zikir.
Dan zikir yang paling besar ialah solat.- Pahrol Mohd Juoi- Solusi isu 38


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bagaimana Saya Mula-Mula Berminat Dengan Lukisan CrossHatching


Sewaktu belajar di US dahulu saya telah memilih satu kelas lukisan crosshatching sebagai salah satu mata pelajaran elektif untuk memenuhi syarat mendapat ijazah di sana. Sistem universiti di US dahulu mewajibkan pelajar mengambil beberapa matapelajaran elektif disamping mata pelajaran jurusan yang ingin diceburinya. Mungkin daripada cara sebegitu pelajar akan mendapat pengetahuan yang lebih luas dan tidak tertumpu dengan jurusannya sahaja.

Berbalik kepada kelas crosshatching yang saya hadiri dahulu, saya adalah satu satunya pelajar Melayu di situ dan mungkin juga satu satunya pelajar Islam di kelas tersebut. Oleh kerana saya tak mahu berdepan dengan situasi melukis manusia (yang kadangkala tanpa berpakaian), saya terpaksa berjumpa dengan pensyarah tersebut untuk menerangkan tentang agama Islam yang melarang umat Islam melukis sedemikian.
Lagipun saya pernah terbaca hadith berkenaan larangan melukis manusia dan makhluk hidup tanpa tujuan  tertentu.
Mulanya memang lama juga saya fikirkan cara terbaik untuk menerangkannya.Terlintas juga dalam hati kenapalah bersusah payah nak ambil kelas ni. Dah tahu nak berdepan dengan situasi orang tanpa pakaian ni kenapa  nak masuk juga. Itulah bak kata orang kalau dah minat kena sanggup berdepan dengan risikonya.

Akhirnya terpaksalah saya pergi ke pejabat pensyarah tersebut menerangkannya. Anehnya pensyarah itu tidak pun banyak bertanya. "Ok. I'll tell you when the class have to practise drawing man or woman. You don't have to come to that class." Begitulah lebih kurang apa yang dikatakannya. Alhamdulillah Allah telah permudahkan segala urusan saya. Apabila tiba kelas melukis seorang manusia, guru tersebut memaklumkan kepada saya dan saya dibenarkan cuti kelasnya selama 2 kali.(Wallahualam..lelaki ke perempuan ke....berpakaian atau tidak saya pun malas nak ambil tahu.)

Sejak dari itu, lukisan crosshatching selalu menjadi kegemaran saya di kala boring atau melepaskan lelah.
Inilah salah satu crosshatching yang saya buat yang digabungkan dengan susunan pressed flowers.

 Menarik tak?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kisah Sebuah Masjid di Davis, California


Davis Little Blue Mosque Built With Community Support


http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=161063
By Jennifer Garza
The Sacramento Bee
blue-2
A student arrives Friday for services at the Islamic Center of Davis.
The city’s first mosque was completed

this month, three decades after it was first envisioned
blue-1





It is the first and only mosque in Davis, one of more than 1,900 in the U.S., according to the Pew Report. Davis, with its large student population, posed different hurdles for mosque leaders. In addition to building a mosque in a post-9/11 world, they had financial and congregational issues.“Most of the people who come here are students and very transient, and they don’t have the money to build,” Alsoud said.
The Davis mosque began with a group of UC Davis students who wanted a place to pray. In 1982, they bought a single-story home and renovated it to fit their needs. They soon outgrew the building.
Alsoud traveled to other mosques in the state, asking for donations. Money came in, with some donations as small as $10. Items or services were donated for the mosque, which Alsoud estimated cost about $800,000. In 2008, the new little blue mosque opened. The color – reflecting the sky, said the architect – soon attracted attention. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a project go so smooth, and that is unusual for any building,” said architect Maria Ogrydziak. She praised mosque leadership.
“Everything they overcame – and it was a lot – showed their dedication,” Ogrydziak said. “They never gave up. That’s why I call it the little mosque that could. They did it.” Many pray at the mosque five times daily. For Friday prayers, the mosque is packed with believers shoulder to shoulder.
Alsoud recently gave a quick tour of the mosque, the smallest in the Sacramento area. Prayer rooms for men and women, a small kitchen, a library, a children’s room and restroom make up the 4,000-square-foot building. Alsoud said he would continue to invite non–Muslims to the house of worship. He pointed to a lamp. Then to the rug. Then, a bench.
“When I look around the mosque, I see the faces of the people who contributed,” he said. “And that’s the whole community.”


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Great Experience- Witnessing the Eclipse of the Moon- Part Two

After Isyak prayers we  had our dinner  at a nearby restaurant. As we chose to sit in the open air section, we had the chance to view the night sky. Alhamdulillah, just as we were about to sit and order  our dinner, the wind blew strongly and pushed the clouds away from the moon.  The results?  A very clear night sky! Just as I  finished my dinner, I decided to search the moon again with the hope of getting a better view. Voila! The full lunar eclipse was about to start. 


I told a few restaurant workers that passed by my table about this exciting scene as I pointed to the moon. Then more and and more workers came out to look at the eclipse. We decided to dash home to witness this spectacular using binoculars and telescope.  ( Actually  we only have the toy ones  he he. But this exciting moments shouldn't be let passed by.)

Alhamdulillah, when we reached home, the eclipse was even clearer. There were no clouds around the moon. We were able to sit outside, in front of our house and watched this spectacular view using our naked eyes. From far the spherical image of the moon with the background of the lights in the night sky  looked like a picture. 


From the start of the full moon eclipse, then partial eclipse and finally the most beautiful scene was the one that looked like a ring was indeed breathtaking view MasyaAllah, it was indeed amazing. Soon after that the moon started to move out of the umbra and we noticed  the brightening of the moonlight again. 


Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah for enabling my family and I witness this historic phenomenon.


Monday, December 19, 2011

One Great Experience- Witnessing the Eclipse of the Moon- Part One


http://science.howstuffworks.com/lunar-eclipse1.htm

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to witness the eclipse of the moon for the whole hour. Yeah, what's so interesting about the moon eclipse? One might blurt out that question.  Have you ever seen  one  yet? Let me relate my first hand experience witnessing this unique phenomena. 


 At first it was really cloudy. When I tried to locate the moon outside my house all I could see was only clouds. That was around 9 pm. Alhamduliillah, the weather was pleasant  with nice cool breeze that also cools down our anxiousness.   


Hours before that my daughter had browsed the internet about the actual time of the eclipse and  what we actually would expect to see. The words umbra and penumbra came out. As an ex Science teacher, I had taught about this natural phenomenon several times. In fact I drew a poster to ensure that my students understand what is umbra and penumbra. Eventhough the word seemed familiar, I could hardly recall what exactly umbra and penumbra. That was when I had to dig out my children's PMR Science books. Alhamdulillah, I was able to find the diagram that I used to refer when I taught back then.

My husband went the mosques for Maghrib prayers and decided to stay back and attend the solat gerhana. Earlier my daughter had to browse the internet again on how to perform eclipse solat(solat gerhana). Hmm..the solat gerhana had two rukuks on each rakaat. Otherwise the solat is performed the same as the other solat sunat. 

After Maghrib prayers, I decided to wait  for the beggining of the ecclipse of the moon which was about half an hour after Maghrib. Then when the time of the eclipse began, I  performed my very first eclipse solat at home. Alhamdulillah, even though I had to do it alone, I was grateful to be able to perform the solat. Several years ago I performed together with the other muslim ladies at the mosque as it was Ramadhan and we usually  go to the mosque for tarawih prayers. This time i was unable to go the mosque due to unforeseen reasons.


To be continued.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Kenangan lama- Masjid Sacramento

Masjid Sacramento, California
Sebaik saja aku melangkah masuk ke bahagian bawah masjid, memori lebih dua puluh lima tahun lalu mengimbau kembali. Sewaktu aku belajar di sini, masjid ini pernah aku kunjungi beberapa kali untuk menghadiri ceramah dan tamrin.

Masjid Sacramento ini pernah  menjadi tempat tamrin pelajar perempuan Malaysia satu ketika dahulu. Di sini, dengan tidak disangka sangka aku bertemu kembali ramai sahabatku, kumpulan 40 orang pelajar yang tiba ke Fresno, California. Kami telah berpecah ke universiti masing masing setelah 3 bulan menghadiri Kursus Bahasa Inggeris di Fresno. Ada yang pergi ke San Diego, Los Angeles, Fresno, Stanislaus dan Sacramento.Tentu seronok dapat mengeratkan ukhuwwah yang  terputus selepas masuk universiti. Aku juga bertemu beberapa orang sahabat yang lain yang seusia denganku. Meskipun tamrin ini diadakan 2 hari saja, beberapa ceramah yang bermanafaat telah disampaikan untuk manafaat bersama. Alhamdulillah dapat juga kami menambah ilmu selain bersembang-sembang  untuk mengikuti perkembangan masing masing.

Masjid ini merupakan antara masjid yang tertua di California. Ingin tahu lebih lanjut tentang masjid ini dan siapa yang kami temui di masjid ini? Klik di sini.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Eh! Banyaknya gerai halal di New York!


While the trucks may be interspersed strategically throughout the city, food carts can be found just about everywhere. There are carts that sell hot soup, stuffed potatoes, hot dogs, pretzels, candied nuts, tacos, sausages, kebabs, gyros, and one of our favorites, Halal chicken and rice. There are debates among foodies as to which cart has the best, and like everyone else we have our favorites too. Halal is an Arabic word meaning "permissible." In the food world, Halal meat is meat that must be farmed, slaughtered and prepared in accordance with certain Muslim dietary guidelines, which are similar in many respects to the Kosher practices of food preparation as well. Thus, many of the carts offering Halal food serve Middle-Eastern dishes. 

http://www.poshports.com/content/New-York-New-York-Your-One-Stop-for-Many-International-Flavors


Salah satu gerai makanan halal yang banyak terdapat di New York. Kami sendiri terkejut melihat betapa mudahnya mendapat makanan halal segera dan nasi briyani di sini. Saya 
sempat membeli set nasi Arab daripada salah sebuah gerai di sini sewaktu pengembaraan saya di Amerika Syarikat. 


Ingin mengetahui lebih lanjut tentang pengembaraan saya bersama keluarga di Amerika Syarikat ? Klik disini!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Makanan Melayu di Pulau Pinang - Hammer Bay- Bahagian 2

Tempat makanan Melayu Hammer Bay tak jauh dari Queensbay mall

"Kat Penang ni makanan mamak aje ke? Makanan Melayu kat mana?",tanya seorang sahabatku. " Errr... kalau kat kawasan pekan tu susah sikit," kataku, agak susah menerangkan arah jalan mencari makanan Melayu kepada kawanku yang tak pernah ke Pulau Pinang. Agak lama juga aku memberi arahan kepadanya agar sampai ke tempat yang dituju.


Ye tak ye juga. Kalau pagi petang siang malam asyik makan makanan mamak saja memang boleh menjemukan. Keadaan Ini biasa bagi orang yang pergi bercuti di Pulau pinang. Untuk mendapatkan makanan halal paling senang ialah di gerai atau restoran mamak. 

Sebenarnya di sebelah petang atau malam terdapat pelbagai tempat yang boleh kita nikmati pelbagai makanan Melayu. Makanan melayu lebih tertumpu di kawasan Jelutong, Gelugor, Bayan Baru dan Bayan Lepas. Ke arah barat laut makanan Melayu tertumpu di kawasan Tanjung Tokong. Ini ialah kawasan pertempatan Melayu walaupun tokong melambangkan tempat ibadat ugama Buddha dan lain- lain. 

Sekiranya dari arah Seberang Perai , sebaik saja susur keluar ke arah Bayan Lepas, kita akan sampai di kawasan Hammer Bay, kalau dalam bahasa Pulau Pinang, Teluk Marton. Marton dalam bahasa Melayu Pulau Pinang ialah Penukul.

Tak jauh dari susur keluar dari jambatan Pulau Pinang,  terdapat satu kawasan makanan Melayu yang dipanggil Marton Corner. Marton Corner ini menyediakan pelbagai makanan laut yang kesemuanya disajikan oleh orang Melayu. Kalau tak silap saya terdapat lebih daripada 3 gerai yang menyediakan makanan laut di sini. Gerai ini agak besar dan terdapat tempat  letak kereta khas disediakan untuk kemudahan pengujung.

Satu tempat makanan Melayu yang agak simple tapi terletak di atas pasir pantai ialah di Bayan Mutiara. Ia terletak ke selatan dari Marton Corner tetapi betul- betul di tepi pantai. Oleh kerana ia dibuka awal, biasanya saya makan tengahari di sini. Sambil menikmati hembusan bayu laut dan bunyi ombak laut  memecah ke pantai, kita boleh menikmati beberapa makanan Melayu Pulau Pinang yang 'simple' seperti laksa, rojak buah, mi , mihun sup dan nasi ayam. Gerai disini adalah jenis gerai mudah alih. Oleh itu kemudahan untuk membasuh tangan dan tandas tiada di sini.

Satu lagi kawasan makanan Melayu yang popular di sini ialah Hammer Bay. Kawasan ini terletak tidak jauh dari Queensbay Mall tapi tempat nya agak tersembunyi sedikit. Jangan terkejut, sebenarnya terdapat beberapa gerai yang besar di sini. Gerai ini yang kesemuanya tempat menjamu seleranya menghadap ke laut agak istimewa dari segi dekorasinya. Gerai ini dibuka waktu tengahari dan malam. Walaubagaimanapun terdapat lebih ramai orang pada waktu malam dan selalu berlaku masalah letak kereta kerana tiada tempat letak kereta yang khas. Oleh itu sesiapa yang hendak merasa makanan laut di sini, seelok- eloknyanya datang sebaik sahaja solat maghrib. Solat dulu baru berkat.

Begitulah sedikit sebanyak tentang tempat makanan Melayu sekitar Teluk Marton di Pulau Mutiara ni. InsyaAllah gerai gerai ini adalah alternatif bagi mereka yang sudah jemu dengan makanan mamak. 


Jemput Mai Tanjung(Nama lain bagi Pulau Pinang)!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Imam Suhaib Webb- Unik Dalam Menyampaikan Pengajarannya


 

Ikuti rencana ini bagaimana Imam Suhaib Webb  menyampaikan pengajarannya dengan cara mengikut kesesuaian pendengar.



By Raja Abdulrahim | Los Angeles Times
May 27, 2011
At the pulpit of an inner-city Chicago mosque, the tall blond imam begins preaching in his customary fashion, touching on the Los Angeles Lakers victory the night before, his own gang involvement as a teenager, a TV soap opera and then the Day of Judgment.
“Yesterday we watched the best of seven…. Unfortunately we forget the big final; it’s like that show ‘One Life to Live,’ ” Imam Suhaib Webb says as sleepy boys and young men come to attention in the back rows. “There’s no overtime, bro.”
The sermon is typical of Webb, a charismatic Oklahoma-born convert to Islam with a growing following among American Muslims, especially the young. He sprinkles his public addresses with as many pop culture references as Koranic verses and sayings from the prophet. He says it helps him connect with his mainly U.S.-born flock.
“Are we going to reach them with an Arab message or with a Pakistani message? Or are we going to reach them with an American message?” asks Webb, 38, of Santa Clara. He is a resident scholar and educator with the Bay Area chapter of the nonprofit Muslim American Society, but reaches others in lectures and through his popular website, which he calls a “virtual mosque.”
Webb is at the forefront of a movement to create an American-style Islam, one that is true to the Koran and Islamic law but that reflects this country’s customs and culture. Known for his laid-back style, he has helped promote the idea that Islam is open to a modern American interpretation. At times, his approach seems almost sacrilegious.
Although the call to prayer at a mosque is always issued by a man, Webb once joked about it being made by one of his favorite female R&B artists: “If Mary J. Blige made the call to prayer, I’d go to the mosque; I’d be in the front row.”
At a Muslim conference in Long Beach last year, he suggested that mosques adopt a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward gays. Afterward, he was accosted by a local imam who accused him of poisoning Muslim youth. “I told him, ‘Quite frankly, you’re going to be irrelevant in 10 years,’ ” Webb says.
He is fluent in Arabic, the language of the Koran, and studied for six years at one of the world’s leading Islamic institutes,Egypt’s Al-Azhar University. His time in the Middle East convinced him that not all religious practices there make sense for Muslims here.
As recently as a decade ago, U.S. congregations readily accepted immigrant imams who had arrived straight from Islamic universities, often with a traditional approach to preaching. Many spoke little English and were unable to communicate with non-Arab congregants or connect easily with youth.
But increasingly, U.S. Muslims expect their religious leaders to play a broader, more pastoral role, says Hossam Aljabri, executive director of the Muslim American Society, a national religious and education group. “Communities want imams who can come in and go beyond leading the prayer and reading Koran. They want them to fill the social role of counseling and dealing with neighbors.”
Religious scholars say the faith’s basic tenets would not change but much of the law that governs Islam may be interpreted differently in various communities.
Webb believes, for example, that barriers between men and women in U.S. mosques are not necessary, although they continue to be used in many traditional congregations. Unlike some imams, he does not object to music and believes Muslims here should be free to celebrate such secular holidays as Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving.

http://www.suhaibwebb.com/society/domestic-affairs/la-times-imam-teaches-islam-with-a-distinct-u-s-style/

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Belajar Ibadah Korban Di Usia Muda di Michigan, USA

Kanak- kanak muslim di Akademi Islam, Ann Arbor Michigan sedang mempelajari ibadah korban dan cara mengerjakan haji.

111810_haji6.jpg

Maryam Jamil, 4, waits to give up her dollar bill to a cardboard sheep as part of the Michigan Islamic Academy's annual Haji program on Nov. 11. The Haji program gives students the chance to re-enact the pilgrimage rites at the various sites in and around Mecca.

Students at the Michigan Islamic Academy in Ann Arbor participated in the school's annual Haji program on Nov. 11. The Haji program gives students the chance to re-enact the pilgrimage rites at the various sites in and around Mecca.

http://annarbor.com/faith/michigan-islamic-academy-students-take-a-pilgrimage-to-mecca-without-leaving-class/ 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Iktibar dari Pemain Bola Sepak Fordson High School, Dearborn, Michigan, USA


Salah satu sekolah di Dearborn (tempat yag sempat saya kunjungi tahun 2009 dulu) yang kebanyakannya muslim ialah Fordson High School.Ia sebuah sekolah yang sangat popular dengan football. Ikuti bagaimana mereka memulakan permainan dengan alfatihah dan doa serta bertanding semasa bulan Ramadhan. Moga dapat jadi iktibar bagi kita.


BY ZAHED AMANULLAH, SEPTEMBER 6, 2010
http://www.altmuslim.com/a/a/v/3937



Dearborn, Michigan is a mythical place to most Americans, known only for its high concentration of Arab Americans, most of them Muslim. As such, many consider it the equivalent of Europe's Muslim ghettos, cut off from society at large, immune to mainstream culture, and dead set on imposing their values on others. A bracing new documentary, "Fordson," attempts to turn all that thinking on its head.

"Fordson" is a feature length documentary that follows four high school football players from the Henry Ford-built Fordson High School in Dearborn as they prepare for a big senior year game against their traditional (more affluent) rivals. Because the school is up to 98% Muslim, and since the game is taking place during the last ten days of Ramadan, every possible religious and cultural convention gets turned on its head. To say the team, their coaches, and their fans - each in their own ways - struggle to reconcile their faith, patriotism, and Americanness is to say that they are not comfortable in their own skin. As football players recite al-Fathiha before a game starts, we see that it's not them who have the problem - it could be us.

The film, made last year, could not have foreseen native daughter Rima Fakih capture the Miss America crown earlier this year. And Fakih's brother, Rami Fakih, who plays on the team this season, got a benefit not available in the film - practicing football all night when eating and drinking are allowed in strangely parallel Nights of Power.

Zahed Amanullah is Executive Editor of altmuslim.com

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