Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ramadan (whenever it began) is more than just fasting

     Crossing Devon Avenue, walking up to the Muslim Women Resource Center, my first thought was that the organization had somehow convinced the Grocery & Meat Market to let them camp out in a corner of their store, as the two entities share the same green sign.
     The truth is even more surprising.

        "The store is our social enterprise," said Sima Quraishi, executive director of the MWRC. "We've been running Muslim Women Resource Center for the past 15 years. Two years ago, when the governor cut down the budget, we decided that we should do something to make some money so we don't have to lose our staff. This is what we came up with. Giving back to the community. Our main goal is to sell to the community and also hire community members."  
       The market looks like your standard, small, ethnic city grocery. A haphazard assemblage of items from floppy bags of fresh naan to bottles of frozen camel's milk. A variety of chutney and some enigmatic items, such as bags labeled "Broken Sugar."
     I was visiting because Ramadan — the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and a time of spiritual renewal — was beginning sometime this weekend. (Don't ask exactly when because it's complicated "We don't know," said a staffer at the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, suggesting I survey a few mosques and gather their opinions.)

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  1. Three thoughts came to mind as I read this article.

    1 - The article reveals a fascinating and hopeful aspect of life in Chicago.

    2 - You have won the lottery getting to make a living indulging in your limitless curiosity.

    3- your readers have won the lottery getting a daily article that is always stimulating and informative. I am unaware of any other writer who tries to do this, much less accomplishes it.

    I start every morning with EGD and - a guaranteed way to start the day inspired and informed.

    Keep up the great work.

    1. Upon Dennis's recommendation I had to see what was; now I will be compelled to add another hour to my daily online reading (not sure if that's a good thing or bad) ...


    2. Dennis -- I think that is the kindest thing that anybody has ever said to me. Thank you very much, though it made me feel guilty -- I of course went to buy the camel's milk, so as to try it. But it cost $20 for eight ounces, and I balked. So you see, my curiosity has limits, though now I regret cheapness, and plan to return next time I'm on Devon, which I am quite frequently.

    3. Check it out - the Jewel in Lincolnwood has camel's milk for $12.99 for a 6-ounce carton.*


      * just kidding.

    4. John, there isn't a Jewel in Lincolnwood.


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