Sister Soljah
February 28, 2004
6th night of Muharram.

It was an interesting one. The guest speaker was very hard to understand...strong strong accent and spoke so fast and switched back and forth between Arabic and English so much that i was lost most of the time. This is what I heard....Allah...Hussain....Muhammed (SAW)...He's the man. I mean THE MAN. I almost laughed then cause that's all I heard. Then he went into the story of Karbala and I got a lot of that because I have been studying it...but man, i couldn't understand anything he was saying. And then he kept saying 313. How many? 313. How many? 313. I kept wondering what was 313. Then I heard 313 Muslimeen. And then he talked about number of shoes...? I was lost.

Then the regular sheikh spoke about culture and Ashura and it's importance. ...that showing up for cultural events, shedding a tear, then going back to normal life is not what Ashura is about. He also equated it to freedom and how some can't practice so openly because of geography. And also talked about the pounding of the chests, crying, and how this expresses emotion and should not be made fun of. But also how doing these things are about freedom...freedom to do them. I liked what he had said. And I liked that he kind of hit on something that's been bugging me. Mosque attendence has gone up from about 12 to 70. That's a lot. I wonder where everyone hides all year. He spoke of how mosque attendence is actually important and I agree wholeheartedly. Good lecture.

The Arabic poems brought welping tears from everyone and the Urdu ones also brought a lot of tears and chest pounding. I so wish I knew one or the other languages so I can understand the tears. It was very emotional in there....

Skipped out after a while ... around 10:00 or so... just felt like an observer and didn't want to intrude on everyone's privacy...
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

A recent convert to Islam...finally found what I was searching for. I am a writer and love to read and learn. I also love travelling and getting to know new cultures and ways of thinking.

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