Religion News Service post!

Why the exclamation mark? I don’t know…I’m just happy to write for their website/wire service. I took a trip to Farmersville last week, got totally turned around by GPS (HATE GPS more than I did before) but made it to the Farmersville special town hall meeting.  700.3 miles altogether. I’m glad the trip was memorialized in writing. More writing about Muslim cemeteries to come. Mwah ha ha… How a Muslim cemetery became a battleground for America’s soul Advertisements

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That’s Master of Fine Arts to you bro!

After three years and much self-doubt, procrastination and shaky focus, on August 2 I finally earned my MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College. My perspective on the program shifted throughout those years, which included two semesters leave when I started working at CAIR, but in the end I cranked out just enough pages to graduate (the requirement is 150; my thesis was 151) and now I have some pretty good material to polish and publish. I don’t know if it will ever become a book. My brain is resting today and tomorrow I go back to my new full-time job of freelancing. The great news is that last week I got my first gig. I’ll be writing a biweekly column on civil rights for MuslimMatters. More about that when it is official.

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Back on The Straight Path

Finally returned to my Houston Chronicle blog. I’ve said I was returning at least twice before, but this time I know I will stay with it. It will be part of my writing life, as I say in the post. Everything I write will be a different part of the mosaic of my new life. Friday is my last day at CAIR and I feel the new phase starting already.

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So much to say, so much to do

My last day at CAIR is July 24. Next week and the week after I’m working 20 hours a week. In other words, day job is winding down and I’m going back to freelancing. I have so much to say about all this, and have to be writing regularly anyway. There’s a week left of Ramadan, so my transition to the new life is a little low-key at the moment but I’ll be out the gate full force after the eid. I thought I’d grace this brief post by paying homage to Dave Matthews.

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The re-branding

I noted in my last post that I will start a new, full-time job in January.  As things turned out, I started yesterday on a part-time basis.  I’m working as the Communications Coordinator for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Texas.  On Monday morning I had orientation and yesterday morning spent three hours on my very first full-time job working in an office with real people since 2003.  I realized yesterday that this is also the first job I’ve ever had whose basis was not supporting someone else (clerically or administratively), but working on a team in support of an organizational vision. My first “real” job (as an adult, not enrolled in school) was as a secretary.  For 20 years I worked at different levels of that class of work.  I was a secretary, an administrative assistant, and ultimately an executive assistant (although never given that exact title).  I finally completed my bachelors degree in 2002, at the age of 41, and that year I was promoted to the position of associate director of one of the four inpatient facilities run by the healthcare organization I worked for.  It was “associate director” because I would be reporting to the organization director, but I would be the administrative head of that facility.  It was the place I belonged after a couple decades of supporting other people. Literally days before I was to start in that position, my supervisor […]

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