Here's what we do at school that you can re-create at home. We all need a sakinah space in our lives!
Take advantage of these blessed last ten nights of Ramadan and donate to a cause that will not only be Sadaqa Jaariya for you but will allow you to fulfill your Zakah obligation within your community. May Allah accept our efforts. Ameen Donate Today: bit.ly/AFAzakah
Lost and Found Items are spread out in the multipurpose room today! Parents are welcome to drop in today and claim any missing items. All items will be donated at the end of the school year.
We did it! 10,000 meals which will be sent to schools with the most vulnerable children who don't have access to nutritious food otherwise. Each packet includes soy protein, rice, dehydrated vegetables, and a vitamin pack. Thank you to volunteers who came to help, everyone who donated whatever amount they could (lots of pennies and quarters from kids) and special thanks to Ms. Kareema and AFA Kids Giving Salam club for coordinating this second annual event. What a blessing to be able to do this while we're fasting!
IT'S TOMORROW! Help our school Stop Hunger Now! 10,000+ meals to feed over 20,000 people! We still need funds to complete our collection! Please go to the link today and donate what you can! Please sign up to volunteer to help package meals! Click here: http://events.stophungernow.org/afa2017 You can also send in a donation to school this week. Make Ramadan truly blessed by feeding others!
Congratulations to our beloved graduating 8th graders! Beautiful time yesterday at their graduation celebrating their time with us, making dua for their accomplishments to come, and thanking all those who supported them through this journey. May they remain full of creativity, compassion, and confidence to be knowledgeable global citizens working for a better world. Ameen!
3rd Grade Green in conjunction with Agriculture in the Classroom present an AFA Farmer's Market! showcasing harvested lettuce, bell peppers, radishes, and a variety of herbs! Grown in our own Caesar Chavez Garden in the play yard! Gather your quarters and visit their table THIS AFTERNOON from 3:00-3:20pm in front of the school building. Supplies are LIMITED!
Help our school Stop Hunger Now! Donate for our meal packaging event so we can feed more than 10,000 people again this year! Each meal cost only .29! With your help, our students will take part in this life changing event in June 7. Click here and pass it on! http://events.stophungernow.org/afa2017 You can also send in your donations to school.
Ramadan Mubarak from AFA! May these coming weeks be full of baraka, rahma, sakinah, and sabr for us all. And may we each grow closer to Allah (s) while growing closer to one another in love. Moon phases study brought to you by intrepid 2nd graders and their diligent efforts with Oreos! We take exploration to the next level at every chance!
How to talk to your children about being Muslim
Muslim American parents face the frightening prospect of their children confronting harassment at school, or being questioned about their faith. Studies have found that Muslim youth face bullying at twice the rate of their peers. Last week, U.S. Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch encouraged parents to contact the Department of Education and the Department of Justice if their children are threatened. Below, Afeefa Syeed, an educator and parent based in the Washington, D.C., area, shares some guidelines she developed for her community.
It's toughest for the young ones who look at pictures of the bad guys and say, "But Mama, he looks like me."
Our American Muslim children are growing up in a world of warped lunacy that takes what they know about a beloved prophet or God and turns it into reasons for anguish. And the frustrations are even greater when young ones watch the news or are witness to confrontations that end with their asking, “Daddy, why does that man say I’m going to hell?”
As Muslim parents and teachers, we feel a heaviness in our hearts about the world and because of this hopelessness and helplessness, we are stripped of the superpowers usually assigned to us in those little eyes. Nevertheless, our children are an amana, a trust for us to keep safe while we have them in our care. Being present with them and understanding their feelings is the heart of parenting in this complex and difficult time.
In order to be conscientious and responsive parents, American Muslims might think of the following elements that are becoming part of our new normal:
Deal with our own emotions
As parents, we are sad, angry, confused, frustrated. It is important to acknowledge these emotions and empathize with one another so we can respond to the needs of our children. Even without knowing what we know, children pick up cues from our behavior and emotional state to then be in a state of disorientation themselves.
Actively listen to our children
Parents need to learn what their children know and feel. Some kids may have snippets of information, others are essentially clueless. Be present and be aware so your children feel connected when they do ask questions. Create opportunities for check-ins as a family to ask how they feel, what their day has been like with specific questions about friends, teachers and relationships.
Talk about what it is to be Muslim, and let them ask questions
Instead of only focusing on “that’s not who we are,” use this as an opportunity to reinforce and reclaim who we are as Muslims. Whether it’s in the family or a Muslim school like ours, we need to create environments where they feel comfortable asking questions, and sharing doubts and concerns. It’s really a series of teachable moments -- “Let’s talk about what [prophet Muhammad] did when he had disagreements.” “How does the Koran tell us we are supposed to treat each other?”
It comes down to taking tools from the faith to counter how it is being misused. We can use the power of prayer and fasting, knowing that God is the source of peace, protection and love to counter the hate, violence and insecurity swarming around us. When children see parents model their faith as a way to be stronger than what surrounds them, their sense of belonging to something greater than themselves reassures them.
Find the positive, be the change
These are trying times to be sure, but we have to point out to our children where there is goodness in the world, regardless of nationality, religion or background. Parents can model random acts of kindness for children to bolster how we can contribute goodness to the world. Get to know neighbors, clean up streets, participate in interfaith activities to truly exemplify the undeniable identity we share as Americans who are integral threads in the fabric of our country.
Afeefa Syeed, a cultural anthropologist, is founder and head of school of Al Fatih Academy, a school with a curriculum based on peace and civic education and integrated learning. She has served as a senior advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development and as a scholar consultant for the Carter Center, as a research associate with Cambridge University’s Institute on Religion and International Studies, and as a senior fellow and an advisory council member for the Institute for Global Engagement’s Center for Women, Faith & Leadership. Additional tips on talking with American Muslim children about current events can be found here.
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