Birmingham, England

I can’t believe I am back in DC for the time being. Everything feels so big and clean. From London, to Newport, to Birmingham, to Istanbul, to Konya, to Tbilisi and then back to Istanbul, every single part of the last five weeks was amazing in its own way. I will try to write as much as I can about it over the next few days but I expect I’ll be posting more pictures and less reflections. I guess we will have to hang out in real life if you want to hear the stories!

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.

On Eid, everyone came from Wales and London to celebrate. As is typical on Eid, there were lots of presents, food, family, friends and laughter. We are so thankful that we were able to share the day with such amazing people.

Some of the Eid spread.

To see all the pictures from Birmingham, click here.


  1. I think if you really try, you can start to make that type of community here. It is something that takes a lot of commitment and work but its possible! We have been trying for two years and are slooowwwlllyy making progress!

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