I have a passion for learning people’s stories: the way we do things, individually and as a society; how we share our values and face our challenges; what motivates our interaction with the world. My work – education, advocacy and communication – reflects that passion.
I have worked as a freelance journalist since 2003, focusing on religion, civil rights and public speaking. In the summer of 2016 I took a hiatus from journalism to dedicate myself to the position of Communications Coordinator of the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Houston).
From 2008 to 2011 I managed Light of Islam, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit bookstore and educational center whose mission was to share accurate information about Islam and Muslims. We sold books, CDs and DVDs addressing a range of topics, from Qur’anic studies to modern fiction. Light of Islam offered classes in Islam 101, Qur’anic studies, and events and club meetings.
I continue to work on Facing Mecca, a book originated in the final manuscript for my Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction, which I earned from Goucher College in August 2015. The book examines the personal experience of being religious in America. It includes memoir, narrative essays and observation pieces. I address topics such as my experience preparing my sister-in-law’s body for burial, the lives of gay Muslims in America, my transition from liberal humanist to practicing Muslim, and how and when minority religions are – or are not – welcomed by American society at large.
In December 2003 I completed a Master of Arts degree in print and multimedia journalism from Emerson College, where I received the school’s Presidential Fellowship. My capstone project profiled drug offenders going through the Roxbury, Massachusetts drug court system.
I write The Straight Path blog for the Houston Chronicle and have contributed to the paper’s Belief and Gray Matters sections. I have written on politics and civil rights for the MuslimMatters online magazine. I have been a regular contributor to the Religion News Service, Azizah, Islamic Horizons and Toastmaster.
I am president of the Houston Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a member of the Religion Newswriters Association, Houston Writers Guild and Muslimah Writers Alliance. I served on the local station board of KPFT/Pacifica radio from 2011-2012. I am a long-time member of the Toastmasters organization and have served in several leadership positions with local clubs.
I am a New Jersey native based in Houston, Texas, where I have lived since 2003.
Contact me at ruthmiriam (at) earthlink (dot) net.
Follow me on Twitter @ruthnasrullah.
Connect with me on LinkedIn.