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Bateel Skycraper

 

A New York Story

A New York Story

Issue 88 January 2012

When Micha met Emery at the recent Wall Street protests in New York whilst looking for a place to pray, neither could have predicted that they would end up married.

 

Micha

 

Having just returned from participating in the protests in Egypt during the summer, I was eager to attend the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. Whilst there, my friend Elif and I were camping out in Zuccotti Park and we did not have a place to pray. We asked another Muslim sister, Camille, if she thought it was possible to construct a makeshift prayer area in the park. Camille called over her friend Emery, so that we could all discuss it together. We never went through with the idea, but we did find a small Bangladeshi mosque nearby where we could pray, and I would often walk there with Emery.


At the time, I was quite excited to meet a Muslim guy who empathised with the issues that the movement was addressing. I had always felt that activism and fighting for social justice is a crucial aspect of Islam, and could not understand why more Muslims did not feel the same way and had not become activists.


After meeting up a few times to go to the mosque and perform our prayers, Emery and I eventually started eating together and frequenting the local café for tea. We had gone to one protest on the Brooklyn Bridge together, and were standing on the pedestrian walkway whilst the police were arresting people below us. I was horrified by what I was seeing, but Emery decided to help people up to our level, so that they could get out of the pen that the police had created. There was one point when the police began to force us off the walkway, and there was a chance that Emery could have been arrested, and I kind of freaked out and got pretty defensive. Read more

 

Emery

 

I was not predisposed to attending protests and demonstrations, but I saw Occupy Wall Street as a chance to be part of a real grassroots movement. I have been living the unfair reality of our economic system, and I know I am not the only one, but this protest was the first chance where I felt that I could air my grievances.


A mutual friend introduced me to Micha when she and her friend were looking for a place to pray in Zuccotti Park. I was sorry that I could not help them more, but I was delighted to meet some fellow Muslims in the camp. When I realised that Micha was sleeping over at the park occasionally, I would bring her and her friend breakfast in the morning. I worked in the kitchen, and I wanted to save them the trouble of waiting in line. From there, our relationship developed quite organically over time, and we began to spend more and more time together. When I eventually proposed, we were lying on our sides in some sleeping bags in the park—this was two weeks after we first met. Read More
 




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