ACraftyArab Booth at Eat with Muslims {Outing}

I created an educational booth, of Islamic craft tutorials, last night for a new organization, Eat with Muslims. that was held at St. Therese Church in Seattle.

I was so honored to be taking part is such an informative evening and send my heartfelt gratitude to EWM, for allowing me the space to showcase –

It was held at St. Therese Parish, with dinner provided by EWM, free of charge. This organization was started in 2017 as a way to build bridges:

We believe that eating together and sharing an experience is what will strengthen and enrich our country and values so let’s sit together.

Founders Ilays Aden & Fathia Absie
Eat wtih Muslims co-Founder Ilays Aden and ACraftyArab Founder Koloud 'Kay' Tarapolsi
Eat wtih Muslims co-Founder Ilays Aden and ACraftyArab Owner Koloud ‘Kay’ Tarapolsi

The food was delirious, a blend of sub-Sahara and North African flavors. There was goat, chicken, vegetables, hummus, bread, salad, and yummy desserts, including dates.

Attendees were encouraged to sit with someone they did not know, to open dialog. There was a Muslim member from EWM at each table. There were also 10 questions about Islam on the table, to help facilitate the conversation.

Our own table took on the issue of race in religion. Our EWM representative had converted to Islam in the 1970s. These are his words “I went to a religious class here at St. Therese and my priest could not explain to me why my Jesus (pbuh) was white on the walls but described differently in my Bible.” Once he started to look into Islam, he realized that Mohammed (pbuh) did not have any images of what He looked like nor was there a Christmas in His honor, he liked that the religion was not about Him but about the personal & communal direction in life. Our representative repeated several times that this was his own path, as a black man in America, on how he had arrived to Islam and others have different stories. But this lead our conversation to race & religion.

I’m sure that this conversation would make many uncomfortable, but I was excited it was happening because race is an issue that is not discussed enough. America has a vast history with slaves and one that is not as well known, Muslim slaves. Yet, we do not discuss enough how white & black & yellow & red & every other races were brought together in our history, in movies, books or TV, unless we are shown it disproportionately tied with violence.

Once dinner was over, a panel of Muslims were asked public questions from the audience to wrap up the evening. The range of questions varied from how women were treated in pre-Islamic times to what is a burka.

I was so indebted to EWM for allowing me to join in the conversation to help improve how Muslims are seen, in contrast to what is being shown in the media.

If you are having an event in Seattle and would like to have a table of educational items for children that showcase the Arab world or Islamic culture, please use my contact form to reach me. I also teach Islamic art lessons to children and provide items for longer term rentals, such as library displays.

Be sure to also check out A Crafty Arab Pinterest for printables, for example an Our Islamic World word search, available for free download, to have at events.