I counter this to the only memories I have of learning of death as a child. When you have family overseas, you learn to dread that phone call that comes in the middle of the night. I can imagine the feelings my parents had from the moment they heard the first vibrations of the phone ringing. The terror and dread that must have passed through their bodies. The questions that soon followed. Whose family was calling? Whose life was about to be forever changed? Already, the world was different and in seconds that information would be conveyed through the wire. Then, there is a voice, maybe filled with sobs, maybe filled with compassion, but there is someone there to witness and to share the pain.
The world changes and we along with it. Even though we may now learn about one of life’s most brutal truths through a cold, detached medium, it does not mean that we must have a cold, detached response. Initially, I found it so difficult to close my eyes and say a prayer for the person’s name I read on Facebook. There were so many things going on my screen and I was quickly becoming distracted. But I stopped myself, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and I prayed. I prayed for this woman, her young family and I prayed that as technology’s reach spreads over our lives, we adjust with it in a way that is compassionate and human.
To read more about the trip, click here.
|Gulcan’s mother prepared this lovely breakfast for us on my first morning there.|
|Huuuuge tray of borek that Gulcan’s mom made.|
|Another amazing breakfast.|
|Grapes growing on Gulcan’s balcony.|
|What Birmingham is.
As you know we started the trip out in the UK. We ended our time in the UK in Birmingham. Doing Ramadan and Eid in Birmingham were on our bucket list and they did not disappoint.
|We got to catch Liverpool’s season opener agains West Brum while in Birmingham. We had first row tickets to their beating. It was so hard to watch.|
We first went to Birmingham in 2009, then again in 2010 and this was our third trip there together. The thing we love the most about Birmingham is that Feraz’s family has made such a wonderful little community there. Everyone is a part of each others lives. There are babies and cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. There are not just mostly twenty and thirty somethings like in DC, something that has always bothered us about being here. The Birmingham community has adopted much of the extended family system of back home but everyone still has their own houses. It is a nice balance between wanting some individuality and privacy but still having the benefits of being a part of a really tight knit community. It is not unusual for people to drop over unannounced and most family members seem to see each other at least several time a week.
|Some of the Eid spread.|