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Wasan Abu-Baker

Santa Claus in Palestine

IN THE February 3 ISSUE

FROM THE 2018 Articles,
andTales of Diversity,
andWasan Abu-Baker
SECTIONS

by Wasan Abu-Baker


I grew up in a Muslim home in Palestine. My father was a dentist, politician, community leader, and civil rights activist. My mother was a Liberal Arts professor who taught poetry and Arabic language in An Najah University.
When I was a young girl in Palestine, I grew up embracing the three Abrahamic faiths: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker


Whether it be wildfires, floods, or hurricanes, the road to recovery is long, and there are many ways people can help the thousands whose lives have been devastated. It’s been three months since Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the coast of Texas, leaving many evacuees displaced due to flooding. This disaster has been the source of a lot of pain, but it has also been the source of many heartwarming stories.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker


During my experience as a teacher, I have found that when working with English as a Second Language (ESL) learners it is important to understand the diversity of native languages spoken at home and the cultural background of each student. This background is an important part of the student’s work ethic and shapes the challenges he or she may face in school.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker


A few days before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, my husband left to perform the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. As the Hurricane approached and in the days before it, my phone was ringing like crazy with weather warnings and cautions to leave South Padre Island. With my experience from growing up in a war zone, I quickly began to think about the safety of my children, and my husband and I thought it would be best for us to leave the island for safety.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker


Malak is a five-year-old girl who was born in Aleppo in Syria in 2010. A few months before the war in Syria started, her mom Iman and dad Saeed had a big celebration when she was born. Malak means ‘Angel’ in Arabic. Iman named her Malak after her aunt Malak because she wanted her to carry her name and be as her aunt.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker



New stories will begin, new futures will start, new hopes will appear, fears will be overcome, challenges will melt away; this is what newcomers face when they begin their path in the United States.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker



The Celebration of Eid Al-Adha, also known as the Greater Eid or the Festival of Sacrifice, is an important Muslim Festival observing Prophet Abraham’s (Peace be upon him) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael (Peace be upon him). Allah appeared to Abraham in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son to show his devotion.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker


Every child has the right to a healthy and peaceful future. Wars damage the dreams for those children who suffer hunger, poverty, pain, and trauma. They have seen their friends and families die, and their schools, houses, and hospitals destroyed. This pain will last a lifetime and will have an impact on the children that is hard to predict.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker


Eid al-Fitr is a three-day holiday that all Muslims celebrate at the end of fasting the month of Ramadan; it is a wonderful and fun holiday for everyone. The Eid is a reward for all Muslims who fast during the month of Ramadan and is celebrated on the first of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker


On a recent trip that I took with my husband to Turkey to celebrate our 13 year wedding anniversary, I was amazed at the beauty and diversity of Istanbul. I heard a lot about Istanbul being the place where East and West meet, but it was truly amazing to see all the cultures and people from all over the world living in peace in this amazing city. We spent 10 days in Istanbul, but there was still a lot that we didn’t have time to see. We stayed in the old city near the Sultan Ahmed Mosque where we enjoyed being near a lot of historical sites and museums.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker


Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is a period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving, and self–accountability for Muslims around the world. The first verses of the Quran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during the last third of the month of Ramadan making this an especially holy period during the month. Ramadan is also a month of community and socializing, as Muslims gather in the evenings to share in fast-breaking meals which are called Iftar.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker


“Once upon a time, in the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo, one of the most beautiful cities in Syria…” this is how Iman Akroum started her conversation with me. Iman and I can both understand each other, missing home is not easy for both of us. When we first met, we shared our own private stories; we shared our tears and talked about leaving our home.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker


Fresno women have many stories of success and accomplishments in 2016. The women of Fresno as teachers, doctors, dentists, engineers, students, professors, mothers, sisters, community organizers, politicians, artists, cooks, writers, journalists, principles, and pharmacists came out to celebrate those accomplishments on March 8, International Women’s Day.

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by Wasan Abu-Baker


I was born and raised in Palestine. I was brought up in a highly educated household with a father who was politically active and outspoken for the civil rights of Palestinians through non-violent action. This upbringing, faith, family, and friends have instilled in me a desire to motivate others to do well and to advance their opportunities.

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