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My grandmother, Saifa Begum filling out her absentee ballot in 2016

With this 2020 election finally coming to a close and record numbers of early voting turnout, you’re probably in the same boat as me receiving a record number of texts, phone calls, and mailers telling me to go vote.

A number of the texts I’m getting are asking for Safia — my grandmother. I guess I must have put my number somewhere with her name as a form of contact.

This is the first year she won’t be voting, because she passed away this June.

We all vote for a reason. It’s part of our civic duty, it’s the way…

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Photo by Muhammad Faiz Zulkeflee on Unsplash

Did pandemic get you out of toilet paper? Get a bidet! Washing your hands more than usual? How hygienic! Feeling like you need to get into a meditative headspace to calm yourself from all of the uncertainty? Sounds spiritual. Covering your face with a scarf because you don’t have a mask? Looks kinda Muslim. Girl are we going to Islam? Yes, girl. Yes, we are.

This pandemic, among many things, has revealed the extreme inadequacies of our social structures and safety nets falling apart. But for Muslims, a lot of the health guidelines and preventive measures have only reinforced…

Albert Einstein allegedly once said that “I don’t know what weapons might be used in World War III. But there isn’t any doubt what weapons will be used in World War IV.” “And what are those?” someone replied. “Stone spears”, said Einstein.

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With #WorldWar3 trending on Twitter and Congress demanding checks on presidential power to wage war, it is obvious that recent events have escalated global tensions to the brink of our worst nightmare — a possibility of another world war. Coupled with the downing of an Ukranian airplane with Canadian and Swedish citizens returning to their homes from Tehran…

As a Muslim, I’ve never celebrated Christmas or Hannukah. But I find this time of year to be beautiful. I remember my younger self in school days and how we would have holiday parties and bring gifts for our teachers and friends, and driving around the cool crisp nights and seeing everyone’s holiday lights, ranking who did the best and who didn’t even try. Then there’s curling up with a mug of hot chocolate and watching A Charlie Brown Christmas and Harry Potter marathons. To this day, I still watch Arthur’s Perfect Christmas, a PBS Kids classic around Christmas time.

A prophecy is news about any future event. The Holy Qur’an was revealed over 1400 years ago as a source to gain closeness to faith and understand the oneness of God, but also as a guide to become better human beings. However, this book contains not only religious knowledge, but challenges us to make discoveries in the secular world. But in today’s world, spirituality and science seem to be constantly fighting over which is more true. The Holy Qur’an does not have this conflict and instead shows how both worldly knowledge and spiritual knowledge are important for the progress of…

Recently, Nathan Zed published an amazing YouTube video on why he took a four month break from social media. For those who aren’t familiar, Zed is an Ethiopian-American YouTuber and former Viner who makes content on his channel and has a clothing line called “Good Enough.” He’s also just simply hilarious (in my opinion).

As a fan, I was excited to hear what he had to say after four months and even more thrilled when he said why he left. He just needed to work on improving himself, explaining that social media was becoming a distraction for him and…

America’s longest government shutdown finally came to a close (for now) on January 25th after 35 long grueling days. Federal employees were unable to receive pay, yet forced to work. Some who are contractors including those under low wage jobs including food service employees and custodial staff will never see a penny from the wages they lost. As lawmakers are rushing to create legislation to prevent another shutdown, the repercussions are still lingering.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the United States economy suffered a loss of $11 billion of which $3 billion will never be recovered. They have…

Often times around the end of the year, people scramble to review what they’ve accomplished. They’ll post their moments on Instagram and list out resolutions for the coming year for themselves, such as, places they’ve traveled and people they’ve met. And there’s nothing wrong with celebrating the end of the year by celebrating life. But it seems we often focus on ourselves and on achievements that we can post about or display. Some may feel they missed out on the year because they didn’t travel as much, accomplish what they wanted professionally or personally. …

The Atlantic recently came out with an article on a new study on the gender wage gap conducted by Stephen Rose and Heidi Hartmann for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Annie Lowrey concluded with quite a thought-provoking sentence that despite social and political changes to promote paid leave, a pay gap may still persist since whether it’s because they have to take leave and work in different fields as men or are just paid less for being a woman. However, “public-policy changes would give women more control over their working lives, and would help foster a more equitable workplace…

I was sadly not surprised to hear about the recent shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. However, it especially broke me knowing that it was at a place of worship where people were coming to remember their Lord. It was devastating to learn how elderly Holocaust survivors, who escaped some of the worst horrors in history to find safety in the U.S., were brutally murdered for their faith at home.

As a Muslim American, I empathize with the fear my fellow Jewish Americans are feeling right now. As religious minorities, the past couple of decades have become…

Saira Bhatti

Writer. Reader. Pakistani stuff. Latin Americanist. Almost multilingual. Always learning. Still figuring it out.

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