This year the 30 Mosques guys–Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq–continued their annual Ramadan journey that started out in NYC in 2009 and expanded across the USA in 2010. The duo is celebrating Eid after wrapping up their 2011 Ramadan travels that took them to mosques and Muslims around the nation. If you’re celebrating too, I wish you and your family a joyous holiday. Eid Mubarak!
In their PBS interview with Hari Sreenivasan, Tariq described the 30 Mosques trip as an opportunity to see how people are living the religion of Islam. Ali highlighted a Muslim community in San Francisco called Ta’leef Collective that impressed him with its inclusive attitudes and “come as you are” philosophy.Their 2011 journey was successfully funded through Kickstarter. You can see the entire 30-day route on their website. It included trips to Alaska, where there is no mosque but there are thousands of Muslims, and Hawaii, where during a 10 hour visit they stopped at heiress Doris Duke’s Shangri La, a public center for Islamic arts and culture.
Along the way, they met many interesting people including a gay imam in DC, a Native American convert in South Dakota, and a female priest in Seattle who practices both Christianity and Islam. The two young men also got permission to enter the women’s space at a Little Rock, Arkansas, mosque. All these trips and others generated some fascinating blog posts, photos and videos, not to mention discussion on their website, where they posted as they traveled.
Ali and Tariq note that their project has inspired others to do their own Ramadan-related explorations. Break_fast at night, for example, is a photo-focused site sharing the Muslim-American experience of Ramadan through images of Muslims partaking in pre-dawn meals at all-night diners, praying at home and at restaurants before breaking the fast, and hitting up piÃ±atas as part of Eid celebrations.