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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.
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Day 12 - Sabiha Shariff: “Awareness of Abuse and Domestic Violence”

Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Voices [mp3, 2:30]

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Sabiha ShariffOur twelfth voice on this twelfth day of Ramadan is Sabiha Shariff, an Indian woman who grew up in Mumbai and has lived and worked in New Jersey for nearly 25 years. Now retired and living in Dallas, she is active in her Muslim community on issues of homelessness and domestic violence.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear a new voice in our “Revealing Ramadan” series. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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The “Multiplicity in Singularity” That Is Islam

by Krista Tippett, host

Revealing Ramadan“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.” —Flavia Weedn (photo: Mushda Ali/Flickr)

We’re thrilled to put our show with 14 distinctly different Muslim voices back on the air a year after we created it. It is really more an experience than a show — one that was as full of discovery to produce as to hear.

In fact, we were surprised to find ourselves creating it. At the beginning of the summer of 2009, we extended an invitation to Muslims to reflect on their lived experience of Islam, of what it means — in a daily, particular way — to be part of what is often referred to in the abstract as “the Muslim world.” Responses were slow at first but began to pick up in number and intensity as our query was circulated in networks far beyond the public radio universe.

Hundreds of people responded from an incredible range of backgrounds, ages, and sensibilities. They came from an Iraqi-American Muslim growing up in Monterey, California and also from Mexican-American and a Russian-American converts living in robust Muslim communities in places like Seattle and Dallas. They were artists, stay-at-home moms, lawyers, college students. They wrote from Indonesia and Turkey, England and Canada, Saudi Arabia and Oman. We began to call some of them up to hear their voices. And Trent Gilliss — our senior editor who conducted most of these interviews — created an interactive map that blends personal photos, audio, and essays.

And though we had asked people to reflect on Muslim identity in a broad sense, we were immediately struck that so many had a vivid, epiphanal Ramadan story to share. We created a 30-day daily podcast — a new voice for each day of Ramadan — which you can still download if you’d like. And we pulled together this show with 14 stories across a spectrum of life and spiritual sensibility.

A bit of background: Ramadan commemorates the month when the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It is marked by recitation of the Qur’an, prayer, and fasting — sun up to sun down. The Ramadan fast is a spiritual discipline of commitment and reflection; but it is also meant to align Muslims with the larger experience of need and hunger in the world. And Ramadan is a period of intimacy and of parties — of getting up when the world is quiet before the sun rises for breakfast and prayers with one’s family, of ending or breaking the fast every day after nightfall in celebration and prayers with friends and strangers.

Of the many links on our site, none intrigues me more than our Flickr page, where you can see the faces behind the stories and voices. Taken together, the people who have become part of this project embody and illustrate the “multiplicity in singularity” that is Islam, as Feruze Faison put it. It was a delight, and an honor, getting such an intimate glimpse inside this holiest month of Islam.

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Day 11 - Nicole Queen: “From Party Girl to Belonging”

Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Voices [mp3, 3:13]

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Nicole Queen on horsebackOn this eleventh day of Ramadan, Nicole Queen, a native-born Texan who was raised Southern Baptist, speaks about the initial isolation of being a convert to Islam. While learning about the tradition, she found strength in the ideas and teachings of Yusuf Estes, a fellow Texan convert. Now in her late 20s, she is a practicing Muslim and is active in her community in Dallas. She continues to photograph and blog about Islamic subjects.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear a new voice in our “Revealing Ramadan” series. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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Day 10 - Tayyaba Syed: “Maybe Next Year”

Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Voices [mp3, 2:43]

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Tayyaba SyedOn this tenth day of Ramadan, we speak with a Tayyaba Syed. She’s a Pakistani-American living in suburban Chicago. “In my faith,” she wrote to us, “parents are highly regarded; we have to honor and respect them unreservedly and treat them with utter kindness.” Her Ramadan story revolves around her father, who passed away since we spoke with her.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear a new voice in our “Revealing Ramadan” series. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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Day 9 - Feruze Faison: “The Sweetest Sip of Water”

Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Voices [mp3, 3:24]

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Feruze FaisonFeruze Faison, our ninth voice in this special series, grew up in Istanbul and now lives and teaches elementary school in New York. After an early marriage in the U.S., she met her current partner, a woman with whom she’s raising three children. Her relationship is a source of estrangement between her and other family members. The Sufism of her native Turkey influences her personal faith and her memories of Ramadan.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear a new voice in our “Revealing Ramadan” series. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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Day 8 - Sahar Ullah: “A Field Trip and McDonald’s”

Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Voices [mp3, 3:28]

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Sahar UllahOur eighth voice in this series is a delightful young woman from Florida who comes from a Bengali family. Sahar Ullah recently completed graduate work in Middle Eastern studies, and, here, shares a childhood memory about fasting during a field trip to a fast-food restaurant.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear a new voice in our “Revealing Ramadan” series. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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Day 7 - Adnan Onart: “Ramadan in Dunkin Donuts”

Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Voices [mp3, 2:46]

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Adnan Onart and his wifeToday, we round out the first week of Ramadan with a personal account of a Turkish Muslim living in Boston, Massachusetts. Adnan Onart and his wife are active members of a Unitarian-Universalist congregation where, he says, they can best live out their Muslim faith. He recites his poem "Ramadan in Dunkin Donuts" on this seventh day of Islam’s holiest month.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear a new voice in our “Revealing Ramadan” series. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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Day 6 - Maria Romero: “The Most Difficult Ramadan”

Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Voices [mp3, 3:06]

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Maria RomeroOn this sixth day of Ramadan, we hear from Maria Romero, a Mexican-American lawyer living with her daughter in Seattle. She grew up Roman Catholic and married an Arab Muslim man. Only after their divorce did she convert to Islam. The Ramadan story she tells is one of pain and fortitude, one of isolation and new community.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear a new voice in our “Revealing Ramadan” series. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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Day 5 - Wajahat Ali: “Ramadan Is a State of Mind”

Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Voices [mp3, 5:39]

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Wajahat AliWajahat Ali, the fifth voice on this fifth day of Ramadan, is a practicing playwright and writer who first trained as an attorney. He’s a first-generation, Pakistani-American who grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. Unlike our first Ramadan story with Samar Jarrah, one of his fondest memories takes place outside the United States, in Mecca, with hundreds of simple gestures of kindness and beauty.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear a new voice in our “Revealing Ramadan” series. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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Day 4 - Allee Ramadhan: “A Diabetic Celebrates in Other Ways”

Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Voices [mp3, 2:56]

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Allee Ramadhan and daughterTo celebrate this fourth day of Ramadan, a wise voice that helps us recall a silent history within the United States. Allee Ramadhan was born a Muslim in the U.S. more than 65 years ago. Growing up black and Muslim meant, as he puts it, having three strikes against him before he got to bat. The father of 11 children, he recently retired as a federal prosecutor and lives in New York.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear a new voice in our “Revealing Ramadan” series. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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Day 3 - Yanina Vashchenko: “A Gradual Transition to Islam through Ramadan”

Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Voices [mp3, 5:45]

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Yanina VashchenkoOur third voice for this third day of Ramadan is a recent convert to Islam. Yanina Vashchenko is in her mid-20s and emigrated from Russia to Dallas, Texas when she was eight years old. She grew up in the Russian Orthodox Church and spent several years as a non-denominational Christian. In the audio above, she shares several memories, including how the act of fasting and praying during Ramadan led her to declare herself officially Muslim.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear a new voice in our “Revealing Ramadan” series. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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Day 2 - Ibrahim Al-Marashi: “Ice Cream and Fasting in Class”

Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Voices [mp3, 2:57]

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Ibrahim Al-MarashiOur this second day of Ramadan, a second voice: Ibrahim Al-Marashi. He’s a scholar of modern history with a focus on the Middle East and political communications. His profile was heightened when an article he wrote in 2002 was plagiarized by the British and American governments to justify the invasion of Iraq. An Iraqi-American, he grew up and studied in California and has taught in the U.S., Turkey, and currently in Spain. The curiosity that took him to Madrid flows into the Ramadan story he likes to tell.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear a new voice in our “Revealing Ramadan” series. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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Day 1 - Samar Jarrah: “Fasting in a Place Like No Other”

Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Voices [mp3, 4:28]

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Samar JarrahOur opening voice on this first day of Ramadan is Samar Jarrah, a Kuwait-born Palestinian-American who says there is no better place to celebrate Ramadan than in her adopted country of the United States. She eloquently captures a sentiment that we hear from many foreign-born Muslims who have immigrated to the U.S. — that being a Muslim in America is to practice and to know her faith in a way she would never have discovered while living in predominantly Muslim countries of her family, whether it be in Kuwait or Jordan or Egypt.

And, she expresses such joy and delight in discovering Islam anew. You can hear it in her tone. She’s still excited, and it’s been more than 20 years since she moved to the U.S. Hearing her story about rushing back from the Middle East to celebrate Ramadan in her adopted country is a testament of what this country has to offer even in the midst of some controversial debates.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear a new voice in our “Revealing Ramadan” series. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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Revealing Ramadan: 30 Days, 30 Stories

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

"i love RAMADAN"
Image by aamran

Yes, tomorrow is the first day of Ramadan in North America. For the next 30 days Muslims will be fasting, praying, meeting with friends, and celebrating. But, Ramadan is as much an inner journey as a set of rituals. It’s a chance for a Muslim to explore the deepest recesses of oneself and one’s relationship with God.

So, we wanted to better understand these personal stories and reflections about the meaning of Ramadan and how Muslims incorporate those experiences into their personal faith journeys during Islam’s holiest month and afterward. We created and produced a special series we call “Revealing Ramadan” in which we present 30 stories — one story per day — featuring the voices of Muslims from Madrid to Dallas and Seattle.

Check back on this blog each day or on our Facebook page to hear the latest version. If you’re the on demand type or simply need a more automated form of listening, we’ve produced a special podcast feed that’s available now. Oh, and a special show too!

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