14 June, 2009

Arab Cultural Immersion

Talk about a day filled with Arab culture, I began my day heading for the Arab-American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. My mom and niece went with me. We had a good time and saw quite a few interesting displays. I think my niece was more thrilled about the interactive displays like the memory game using words in different languages, the short movie on Milton R. who is a photographer from New York (Buffalo, I believe) and takes pictures primarily of laborers, and trying to learn how to use the astrolabe. My mom is a licensed nurse and really enjoyed viewing the medical displays.

I took over one hundred pictures while there. All-in-all, I think it was more than worth the long, hot (no a/c in car) drive to Dearborn (1 1/2 hours). The best part is Sunday is FREE admission.

Ariel playing memory

Mom enjoying the medical stuff

Before leaving Dearborn, we drove by the mosque. It is on a road called Altar Road. It's interesting because there are 5 churches in a row on this road and nothing else. I took pics of a couple of them. The first picture is the mosque. It is an interesting building - as they all are, to me anyway. While there, I explained to my mom and niece the purpose of the minarets - the tower-like structures on either side of the dome. This is where the call to prayer is sung.

Islamic Center of America

Armenian Apostolic Church

About an hour after returning home, my best friend (who happens to be from France) and I (my niece also) went to Grand Blanc - another hour drive with no a/c - to visit our friend Sua'ad and her husband Abdul-Atiif (or AJ as most call him) and their children. We wound up eating supper with them (some kind of a spiced liver and rice - not something I would normally eat, but it's rude to not partake when offered) and speaking a little Arabic language. For me, it was a little bit of relearning since it's not often I am able to use the language. We also sat around discussing names and how names are chosen for newborns - they are expecting their 4th child and can't decide between 2 names so I suggested they use both - and a little bit of the history of the early caliphs. I always feel like I learn a lot from them whenever we speak or visit.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Hi there.
Glad you enjoyed your visit to the Arab American Natl Museum, and very happy you shared your experience!
Kim Silarski
Arab American Natl Museum