Unhinged: How I Came out to my Very Brown Parents

Source: Usman Khalid

Bonjour, beautiful kings, queens and everything in-between! My name is Usman Khalid but you can call me Uzzy if you want. I’m a 29-year-old, super-gay, Pakistani-American Muslim, currently living in Washington, D.C. 

For my first piece, I’ll be writing about how I came out to my very brown and very Muslim parents. 

As a warning, this is definitely not a hallmark, feel-good story. It doesn’t have any kind of heartwarming ending where my parents and I tell each other that we love each other and that they accept me for who I am, and none of those shit rainbows or butterflies whatsoever.  

Let’s start off by setting the mood. It was a couple of years ago, back in 2018, the hottest song at the time was “Nice For What” by Drake and romaine lettuce was giving everyone E. coli. So 2018 was ALREADY off the chain, you know?

It was the weekend of Eid, which is what we celebrate after the month of Ramadan during which we fast for 29 or 30 days. Oh… It was also Father’s Day. 

I remember that I was at my parents’ house, which was about 20 minutes away from my apartment at the time. Just a side note: It’s pretty untraditional for unmarried Pakistani kids to move out of their parents’ house. My parents, two older brothers, their wives, and my precious little nieces and nephews all live in the same house, but that weekend, it was just me and my parents that were there. 

[Read Related: Avan Jogia Talks ‘Mixed Feelings’ & Accepting Identity without Labels]

Anyway, I decided to go back to my apartment, so I went to their room, where they were chilling, just to say you know, like, peace out, Khuda hafiz, et cetera.

As I was about to head out, my dad started going at it about me getting married. If you are desi then you know that we have been told that we need to get married at an early age—if you’re a girl then you gotta get married and pop out some kids ASAP, like, we’re talking before the age of 25. If you’re a dude, you get more leniency, because of the patriarchy, but you still gotta get married pretty quickly, and your parents, everyone else’s parents, random uncles, and aunties, the dude that you get your halal meat from, and your Uber driver will ALL inquire about when you’re getting married, and they will INFORM you that you absolutely need to. 

So this was kind of like that. Usually, I just brush it off and make a joke and escape but this time, homie was being super adamant about getting an answer, and he would not let it go. Then he goes, “the only reason that a Muslim man or woman cannot get married is if they are gay or lesbian,” and when he said that my mind went blank, and the only thing that was showing up was a “WTF?!” because I was mad confused about what the fuck was exactly going on.

After he said that, he just kept saying, “if you are, then tell us. If you are, then tell us,” and he kept repeating it.

At that point, I was thinking in my head – I could either continue lying and say, “no I’m not,” and somehow be like, “no, I’m not gay, I’m totally straight,” which, like, no. OR I could just fuckin do it and say yes. So I looked up and it felt like I didn’t know what I was doing… But I just said yes. 

The first thing I remember my mom doing was just gasping and looking at me, wide-eyed and completely shocked. The first thing my dad said to me was, “okay great, you can go back to your apartment now, we’re done.”

I don’t know what he meant by his initial reaction. I wasn’t sure if it was just him completely saying peace out, or if he just couldn’t deal with what I just admitted to him. I wouldn’t have expected him to react in any other way. 

I couldn’t move at all. I was straight up (well, not straight, hehe) just a statue at that point and all I could really ask them was, “don’t you want to talk?”

Which in retrospect, honestly, I kind of wished I had just left and gone home because my dad LAID into me and just went ham, and really said all the things that you would expect a conservative, Pakistani Muslim man to say. 

My mom didn’t speak much during the entire time, she just cried. That was honestly worse than the things that my dad said to me. That was the first thing that broke me–seeing my mom inconsolably cry, because of me. 

[Before I start getting into the specifics of what my dad said to me, I want you, the reader, to know that I love my dad with my entire soul and that there is nothing that he could say to me to make me stop loving him. This is hard to write because it’s hard to imagine someone you love so much saying so many hurtful things to you but it’s just what happened as a result of how they were raised, and who I ended up being. It isn’t easy to be faced with something that contradicts your entire belief system, and his reaction was just that. It was a reaction. My heart has forgiven my parents, even though they didn’t ask for it, and probably won’t. So, as you read the next few paragraphs, please do not harbor any ill will towards my parents. They are human, and just like all of us, they are a product of the generations before them. I love you, Ammi, and I love you, Abbu.]

My dad just went into it with, “this is disgusting” and “how could you do this to us?” He said that all my accomplishments in life meant nothing since I’m gay. He told me that it didn’t matter how many friends I had, or how many people in this world loved me, that being gay was one of the most hated things in all religions, and that no one would ever accept me. 

He compared me to all of my friends growing up, saying that he wished that I was like them, that he would give anything for me to be like them. He said that I needed to go ask for forgiveness from God for what I am and that if I didn’t, I was going to drag my whole family to hell.  

They were under the impression that America and my “American” upbringing MADE me gay, which I really don’t think is true. What I wanted to say was: Listen I have been gay from the womb but I thought it might be just a little bit insensitive. My dad did say that he had known since I was 12 and that he was hoping that the power of Islam would straighten me out, cause that’s just how they think it works.

In hindsight, they really should have gotten a hint from the amount of Britney Spears and NSYNC cassette tapes I had growing up. I was shocked when he said that he had known.

I didn’t think about it about the time as much since my mind was racing in a million directions all at once, but I started to think back on what a depressed kid I was, and couldn’t help but think that my dad knew why the entire time. I’m not sure if things would have been different if he had talked to me about it then versus how it was happening now, but I do know how alone I felt when I was figuring out my sexuality at that early of an age. 

I can’t tell you how guilty I felt the entire time this shit was going down, and once they were done talking. I was at one of the lowest points in my entire life, and I truly had no will to go on, I really didn’t want to exist at that point. As shitty as that sounds, I realize now that that’s where my mind had to go for myself to start healing itself, but it wasn’t easy. It never is. 

At the end of the psychological UFC match my dad just obliterated me in, he told me to go home, and think about all of the things that they said, and then come back and talk about what I was going to do about being gay. They wanted me to come up with some way to make myself straight. 

Now, while all of this shit was going on in my parents’ room, my middle brother had come home and was sitting in the living room watching TV, which was right by the stairs on the middle floor of my parents’ house. 

[Backstory: I came out to my middle brother shortly after I turned 23, and the conversation was short. I walked into his room, told him I had something to tell him. He asked me if I was gay, I said yes and he gave me a thumbs up. That was the end of that. Much less stressful than coming out to my parents.]

I was a broken shell of a human at that point. As I said, I was at my lowest point, and I was just looking for any kind of comfort. I came down the stairs and stood next to him, with tears and snot all over my face. He looked at me, and I said: “I just told Ammi and Abbu.” He asked me “what?” and then I kind of looked at him like, “you know.” And he turned his head, and completely ignored me, and kept watching TV. 

[Read Related: Book Review: ‘Find Somebody to Love’: a Tale of Unrequited Love]

I really didn’t know that it could get worse than rock bottom. But at that moment, it did. I felt like I had nobody. I put on my shoes and I got in my car and cried for what seemed like forever. On the drive home I was looking for places to crash into that wouldn’t hurt anybody else. I truly wanted to end it, but I didn’t. I just went to my apartment, and I processed it. 

I don’t want my coming out experience to be a sob story, at all. My objective is not to gain any sympathy, whatsoever. I want people to listen, so that they can hopefully understand their queer friends better, of course, but mostly I want to say to the queer brown kids who are trying to figure it all out in a world that often makes them feel invisible, that you are quite the opposite of invisible. That you are an incredibly special human being, and that you deserve all the happiness in the world. 

The feeling of being ashamed of who you are, how you feel, what gender you love, or what gender you look like, or feel like, is one that is extremely complex and hard to navigate, but, if I hadn’t gone through it, then I wouldn’t be the person I am today. 

Our experiences and memories, both good and bad, are the things that make us who we are, and that is a beautiful thing once you can get to a point where you understand it. 

So no matter what you’ve gone through, I want you, whoever is reading this, to know that you are fucking AWESOME, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Sometimes it seems like this world was built to tear you down, but you will always have the power to build yourself back up, and that is a guarantee. 

By Usman Khalid

My name is Usman Khalid, but you can call me Uzzy. I’m a 29-year-old gay “brown boy” navigating this big … Read more ›

Life Coach and Author Shanita Liu Sets Boundaries, Builds Courage and Refutes an age-old Myth in her new Book ‘Dear Durga’

Dear Durga: A Mom's Guide to Activate Courage and Emerge Victorious
Dear Durga: A Mom's Guide to Activate Courage and Emerge Victorious by Shanita Liu | Photos Courtesy of Shanita Liu

In her new book “Dear Durga,” author and life coach Shanita “Shani” Liu takes a different approach to self-help. Liu guides readers by providing a courageous framework. She writes to the Hindu goddess Durga Ma, who is a symbol of courage to Liu. Durga Ma represents power and protection in Hinduism.

Liu ties together the personal. She shares her experiences in witnessing fear-based patterns from her own Guyanese family and culture and noticing them in herself as a mother while proving coping strategies as a life coach. In this candid conversation, Liu explores the journeys of motherhood, writing, overcoming fear and leading future generations by example.

Where did the idea for this book come from? 

It came from a diary entry I wrote in 2018 or 2019. I wrote that I was going to write a book called “Dear Durga.” I created a folder on my computer and it said “Dear Durga Book” and it was almost like I was setting the intention. I didn’t know what it was going to be about, but I did know that Durga and writing to her was an important part of my journey. And so I just had this intuitive feeling that I was going to be able to share this story one day.

How did you decide what the book would be about? 

In 2021, we were going through the pandemic, I just had my third child, and Durga was very much like, ‘okay, now you’re going to go write your book.’ And I was like, ‘Wait, what? I’m sorry. I’m, like, trying to navigate motherhood again and my business and everything else that was going on.’ And she was like, ‘no, you’re going to participate in this writer’s workshop. You’re going to learn how to write a book proposal. You’re going to enter it into this contest. You’re going to win the contest, and you’re going to write a book.’ And I thought she was nuts. And all of my fears started coming up – who am I to do this, I can’t do this, I’m not enough, what am I writing about? 

I had to muster up the courage to write this book. And so Durga was a catalyst for me to call on my courage and say, ‘it’s time.’ This moment made me realize what I’ve been doing professionally for the last seven years is walking folks through my framework to help them activate their courage. So even though I was terrified, I realized this book can take the personal and the professional pieces of this puzzle and really put it all in one place. 

When you say that Durga was your driving force for action, do you mean spiritually and religiously, or something else?

For everything, yes—emotionally, spiritually. In 2015, when I was falling apart and embarking on these major life changes in my life, she came through. It was the catalyst for me to say, “I have to start breaking myself out of these fear-based mindsets and really start entering these new phases of my life with courage and disrupting old patterns.” 

[Read Related: Fireside Chat With Debut Author Sophie Jai]

Describe the writing process for this book. How did you find that courage to move past your fears?

Definitely writing to Durga. Knowing that the book was going to be about this journey of me connecting with my courage, I had to accept the challenge. I’m a writer by training. I’ve been writing my whole life. I was an English major, so I knew I could write, but I had to sit down and excavate six years of my life. I had to go into my journals from 2015 up until when I started writing the book at the end of 2021.

 It was wild to re-experience myself going through these various obstacles, these discouragements, these discomforts and then find the strength through this courageous energy I had within me, to take these small steps and overcome each obstacle. The excavation of my own life was an interesting part of the process for me to get clear on the themes based on what I remembered. 

The writing process was very spiritually and emotionally transformative because I’ve been doing all this work with my own courage that I sort of had to channel it with my own creativity to write and to marry what I had been doing professionally and what I had been going through personally. So, once I formed the book proposal, the blueprint for what I was writing, and submitted it to the Hay House contest, I then learned I won the runner up prize, I was able to write the manuscript pretty quickly. At that point, I was like, ‘okay, I know what I’m writing about now. I know I have the courage to do it.’ Durga was right, after all. 

Walk us through the four steps for somebody who is just hearing about this and is interested in your way of approaching courage. 

I have a Courage Kit framework, and I’ve had to walk my talk through it, but I’ve used it with hundreds of clients. It’s a four-phase process to support you with activating your courage and keeping it alive. The first phase is activating your courage and calling it in, identifying your courage metaphor, how to access that energy and how to commune with it and build a relationship with it. The second phase is about aligning with your needs because, as mothers and women, we don’t ask ourselves what we need due to this societal expectation and cultural conditioning. That’s an important part of emerging victorious. Victory is important because it means to attain fulfillment. Being victorious means having the courage to honor yourself so that you can be victorious, whatever that is like for you. The third phase is alleviating stressors so you can feel your best. Then the fourth phase is taking action so you can start making baby steps towards your goals. 

How was this journey impacted by being Indo Caribbean? What role did your culture play in this? 

The role that my culture plays is huge. In the book, I talk about the legacies of sacrifice that I come from because of indentureship. I’m three generations removed from that history of colonizers exploiting indentured laborers. When you come from these legacies of sacrifice, fear-based mindsets and behaviors accompany it. When I was acting from a place of martyrdom and sacrificing my own needs, I realized I learned that from the women who came before me, who learned it from the women before them. 

When you zoom out you realize this has happened across cultures. Why are women in our culture asked not to use our voices? Why are people telling us to shut up, play small and don’t cause trouble? Our voices have been collectively suppressed, and over the last few decades, we’ve been liberating ourselves. We’re going to honor all parts of ourselves and express ourselves as we need to, and we need courage to do that.

Why dedicate the book to your younger self?

I had to dedicate this book to my Little Shanny because her voice was suppressed, and due to cultural and societal expectations, she wasn’t allowed to be her fullest self. She’s very lively and creative. In the book, she is writing and we make rap songs and other things to call on our creativity. This book is an honoring. As I was honoring all parts of myself and healing my own emotional wounds, I was liberating her at the same time.

How would you describe your relationship with Durga Ma? How can others who are not Hindu achieve that sort of relationship with their metaphoric courage figure? 

Regarding Durga and myself, I don’t say, ‘I got this courage metaphor, now help me.’ You have to build a relationship with it. In the last eight years, I’ve been able to build a solid relationship with her where my courage is almost automatic. If I feel or think about fear, my automatic courage alert starts going off. The stronger connection I build to her, the stronger our relationship becomes, and the more self aware I become about making courageous choices. 

But, in the introduction of the book, I clarify that folks can use the Durga archetype or work with Durga whether they are Hindu or not. It doesn’t matter what walk of life you come from because she embodies victory over evil, maternal protection and an unapologetic courage that we need for fulfillment. So I encourage folks to connect with her because people who are meant to resonate with it will resonate with it and if Durga doesn’t resonate with you, you understand you have this courageous wisdom inside you. If telling my story about the way it looks for Durga and I, inspires somebody to ponder a relationship like that, that’s great! In the end, I just want folks to walk away feeling comforted and equipped with tools to be their most courageous selves.

How do you take this idea, this archetype, and apply it to yourself or anybody? 

We’re human beings and I think sometimes we just need something visual or tangible to hold on to. Sometimes I need an idea or person to help ground what’s coming up for me, so the metaphor is really helpful because I can visualize and interact with it.

 The metaphor offers information because when you’re scared and fear is clouding your judgment, it’s easy to default to doubt. Your courage metaphor offers information, encouragement or directions – targeted guidance. As long as you connect, communicate with and build a relationship with it, it will help you. That’s why I use “Dear Durga,” channeled writing, as a common thread throughout the book, it’s one modality that works. If this modality doesn’t work for you, then try interacting with it differently. But at the end of the day, regardless what modality you find, you can leverage that metaphor’s information to inform your next step.

How did motherhood and becoming a mother play a role in writing this book and also your career as a life coach? 

I started life coaching when I became a mother. I was pregnant while I was in my Life Coaching Certification Program, and Durga Ma showed up just a few months before I found out I was pregnant. I think she knew I was going into the next phase of my life, and I couldn’t continue on my own anymore. So motherhood was a huge act of courage for me. I left a toxic job so I could embark on motherhood and begin making professional choices that would support me once I became a mom. 

The beautiful thing about motherhood is that you become a different person – you change. Your ability to care, give, create and grow changes. Motherhood informed the work that I did with other women in their mind, body, spirit wellness and it forced me to focus on my own wellness. Also, Durga Ma just happens to be this maternal archetype, so maternal protection and nurturing felt important to my process as I was healing wounds. This is a powerful energy that can support other moms because we need support. We’re caring for little human beings and, as it is, most moms are under-resourced. Courage is a resource that doesn’t cost any money, that can help with life’s challenges.

Did you have to endure little battles with people around you to gain support for the kind of work that you do? 

I don’t think anyone around me discouraged me. The battle was within myself and having the courage to say, ‘I’m this life coach who’s going to focus on courage.’ I had to get over my own impostor syndrome, self doubt and fears that were weighing me down about coaching with this mindset among many other coaches. When I started, I was focusing so much on self care, but then I realized it’s so hard for women to self care because we have a fear of doing it. Everything goes back to fear. That’s why I realized the root of all of this is coming back to our courage. 

As an Indo Caribbean mother, there can be a lot of expectations. Did the courage framework also help with that? 

Absolutely. Most moms are givers, especially those of Indo Caribbean heritage. We saw our moms constantly sacrificing everything so we can have high-quality lives. But this trajectory of motherhood and bringing my courage in through my own framework forced me to ask for help, set boundaries and put my needs first. Obviously we put our children first, we’re always protecting them. But I began to honor myself. To realize I can honor myself and my needs while managing motherhood felt really important. But that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to do that because we’re breaking out of old patterns from our family’s example. This is why, in ‘Dear Durga’ I tell a lot of stories about my grandmother, because she was a major influence in what I thought motherhood should look like. 

Can this in turn create a healthier experience for the child?

Absolutely. You’re a demonstration to your children. Your children do not do what you say, they do what you do. I have daughters and a son, and I don’t want my daughters growing up thinking that when they get married or have kids and start a family, they have to clean the house all the time and never experience joy. I want them to see that Mommy can experience joy and fun and she can work, and she can do these things. It may not look perfect, but they can see that I can do all of these things without it costing my mental health and sanity. 

Do you have a favorite story that you use in this book for reference?

It’s not my favorite, but the story about my grandmother’s death and the shock that my family and I felt stands out the most. She was the matriarch and anchor to our maternal line. So, when she passed away, it created chaos. As a little girl, it wasn’t until she passed away that I questioned: ‘Who was she? What was her life like?’ It allowed me to see what my grandmother was like outside of being a grandmother. When the funeral happened, I heard stories about how she sacrificed, whether it was for her education or her family. It gave me perspective on everything that went into my family coming to the U.S. But it also made me think, now that I have the privilege and the opportunity to change things, am I going to take advantage of that?

Liu champions personal growth and overcoming fear, emboldening us to find our courage, be vocal about our needs and refute the age-old myth that Indo Caribbean women must struggle to be successful. “Dear Durga A Mom’s Guide to Activate Courage and Emerge Victorious” is now available for purchase.

By Usha Sookai

Usha Sookai is an undergraduate student at New York University, studying Journalism and Social and Cultural Analysis. With a passion … Read more ›

Holi Celebrations: A Time to Reflect on Diversity and Inclusion

Holi Celebrations

Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the coming of spring and is observed near the end of winter. It’s also referred to as the festival of colors or the festival of love. Although my daughters and I are not Hindus, (we are Sikhs) we still celebrate Holi. Our Holi celebrations always include reading about this festival, making colorful art, playing with the colorful powders, and making some delicious, traditional sweets. This is always such a great occasion to discuss the diversity of Indian culture with my daughters. I use this opportunity to teach them about inclusivity and respect for different cultures around the world. All across India, different states celebrate this festival in their own meaningful ways.

[Read Related: Holi With Kids: Celebrating the Festival With Your Family ]

My first experience celebrating this beautiful festival was in university. My roommates, friends and international students put together a lovely day of Holi celebrations outside. We were completely covered in variety of colors — pinks, purples, and blues. There was music, laughter, dancing, and an overall joyous atmosphere (including bhang, which is essentially a cannabis milkshake). It was particularly heartwarming to see so many Indian students coming together as a community, so far from home, to connect with such a beloved tradition.

For those of us, brought up in Canada, such celebrations were amazing opportunities to genuinely experience the true spirit of Holi. Similar to how it is done in India, everyone became one – there were no small groups or cliques doing their own thing; class lines and caste systems, predominant across India, disappeared. Everyone joined together; our skin tones hidden under the bright colours of the Holi powders. It surely was an unforgettable time.

As a child, I got to experience Holi only through Indian Cinema. Bollywood films like “Silsila,” “Darr,” and “Mohabbatein” stand out in my memory. The actors are dressed completely in white at the beginning of the song, enjoying Holi celebrations, and are then painted from head to toe, in various bright colours, by the end of the song. Since then, I’ve learned that certain colours hold meaning and significance. Red symbolizes love, fertility, and matrimony; blue represents the Lord Krishna; and green stands for new beginnings.

Now, as a mother, I don’t want my children to experience our culture through a screen. So we bring these Holi traditions into our home in our own creative ways. We certainly tend to get creative since around March there is still ample snow on the ground outside and a chill in the air!

The activities we have fun doing are:

  • Making rangoli designs using coloured powders (this is a helpful site we’ve used)
  • Making paper flowers to decorate the house with (like the ones here)
  • Making tie-dye shirts (we’ve got a kit for this because the girls love it)
  • Baking a traditional Indian snack, like gujiya (we bake them because I get paranoid about the girls being around hot oil).

[Read Related: Mithai Memories from Holi to Eid and Diwali]

Some of the books we enjoy reading are:

  • “Let’s Celebrate Holi!” by Ajanta Chakraborty and Vivek Kumar (for three to seven-year-olds)
  • “Festival of Colors” by Surishtha Seghal and Kabir Seghal (for two to eight-year-olds)
  • “Why Do We Celebrate Holi” by Anitha Rathod (for eight years old and above)

This year, Holi falls on the same date as International Women’s Day! To combine the two celebrations, my daughters and I plan on sketching South Asian females we look up to the most, and then adding bright colours using different types of paint. For another element of texture, we might add the paper flowers to these as well. I’m thinking these are going to be frame-worthy pieces of art!

By Taneet Grewal

Taneet Grewal's passion for storytelling began at the age of six with many fictional/magical characters. This grew into a love … Read more ›

How I Create Everlasting Ramadan Memories as a New York City Mom

New York City mom creating everlasting Ramadan memories with her children

As we enter the holy month for Muslims around the world, Ramadan — a month of fasting, reflection, community, charity and celebration — I aim to foster long-lasting Ramadan memories and traditions for my children while also showing them the beauty of our faith.

[Read Related: Ramadan Reflections: How I Got The Best of Ramadan with My Children]

The rich tapestry of my life has been intricately woven by the threads of my Pakistani ancestry, an Indian-Kashmiri partner, and the multiculturalism we have passed on to our children. As I navigate the current journey of my life while being a mother to two children, I aim to provide my kids with a life enriched by different cultures which will ultimately help them to become compassionate and empathetic human beings in the future.

Through education, conversation, and exploration, I hope to help set a strong foundation of values that will serve them well in their journey as Muslim Americans and make Ramadan a holiday that they look forward to every year.

Before we explain the importance of Ramadan to children, it’s helpful to holistically explain the importance of the five pillars of Islam.

  • Declaration of Faith (Shahada)
  • Prayer (Salat)
  • Giving Alms/Charity (Zakat)
  • Fasting During the Month of Ramadan (Sawm)
  • Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj)

When it comes to Ramadan for young children like mine, there is no better way to teach them than implementing practices of both fun and learning. Engaging them in activities that feed their interests means that they are much more likely to retain information.


It’s amazing to see the assortment of Ramadan decor available at national retailers such as Target and Amazon. I purchased Ramadan lanterns for the kids, and we decorated our home with majestic lights, crescent moons, and other arts and crafts the kids and their friends enjoyed. Noah and Liyana also look forward to the ‘Countdown to Eid Calendar,‘ and put a star sticker on, each day before bed.

Charity and Gifts

Charity supports building a strong foundation for children and demonstrates to them that their actions, no matter how big or small, can make a difference. I strongly believe that good habits instilled during childhood go a long way. The kids have been packing gift bags filled with toys and food packages for local orphanages. I have partnered with other Muslim families to create Ramadan cards for the victims of the Syrian and Turkish earthquakes.

Songs and videos

Another form of educational content that we have introduced to our kids is singing and watching animated videos — after all, we are in a tech generation! Below are some options for child-friendly and lyrical songs to teach your children about Ramadan.

Books and toys

Every evening, the kids alternate between different Ramadan coloring and reading books. Ramadan Bedtime Stories: Thirty Stories for the Thirty Holy Nights of Ramadan! is a favorite. Ramadan Coloring Book is also fun for them as you can’t go wrong with crayons and markers when it comes to toddlers! I have also bought some books about Ramadan in other languages such as Arabic and also Ramadan-themed puzzles, which seem to be a winner this month.


Community is an integral part of a Muslim’s life and even more so important during Ramadan. It shows the profound significance of relationships to humanity. As a Muslim parent, it is important for me to make my kids excited about community-based traditions such as Eid-ul-Fitr. This year we will be taking the kids to the Washington Square Park Eid Event where there will be many family-friendly activities.

[Read Related: How to Prepare for Ramadan: 3 Steps I am Planning to Take This Year]

Whether it’s decorating our home during this blessed month, Ramadan-themed coloring books, bedtime stories or our ‘Countdown-to-Eid’ calendar, the best part of it is that we do it all together, as a family.

Feature Image courtesy: Zeba Rashid

By Zeba Rashid

Zeba Rashid is a guest writer at Brown Girl Magazine and resides in Manhattan, New York, with her two children … Read more ›