17 Jul, 2017

how to pray openly…

17 Jul, 2017

While spending time with my sister in Boston, we visited Castle Island, a beach near downtown. Because the beach is so close to the city, the small coast and historic site, Fort Independence attracts a broad variety of visitors. As we turned a corner, I stopped in my tracks....

Read more
07 May, 2017

assumptions…

07 May, 2017

I stand in the security line at Houston’s Hobby Airport behind a desi man, who is shorter than I am and wears glasses. As always, people are trying to move through security lines as quickly as possible. A guard guard tries to expedite the process by guiding passengers to...

Read more
27 Mar, 2017

no borders, no walls….

Sehbar Sarwar
27 Mar, 2017

a fence dividing two nations To celebrate spring break, the family and I drive down the coastline to visit San Diego. On our last morning, we dip down to San Ysidro to catch a glimpse of the US-Mexico fence behind which lurks Tijuana. Around us, men and women of...

Read more
07 Feb, 2017

vacant airplane…

Sehbar Sarwar
07 Feb, 2017

Empty airplane seats on my 16-hour journey from LAX to KHI, where I’m heading for just six days to participate in the annual Karachi Literature Festival, which will attract more than 100,000 attendees. The Emirates airline representative at LAX airport says that flights have been running empty for a...

Read more
28 Dec, 2016

learning more every day…

Sehbar Sarwar
28 Dec, 2016

This week, poet, performance artist and educator Christa Forster, who I met in Houston more than two decades ago and have remained friends with ever since, visited her hometown San Juan Capistrano, where her mother still resides. Undaunted by the sixty miles between Pasadena and Orange County, René, Minal...

Read more
21 Nov, 2016

reminders and a respite…

Sehbar Sarwar
21 Nov, 2016

After spending five days in Houston, Minal flies with me to Washington DC where I’m invited to attend a National Endowment for the Arts convening. With a free day before the conference, I ask Minal what she wants to do on her first trip to DC. “Visit the White...

Read more
08 Aug, 2016

dismantling helmut’s designer coffee table…

Sehba Sarwar
08 Aug, 2016

Packing and dismantling objects that we have collected for decades is more exhausting than I envisioned. In the past, I have either packed a suitcase and flown, or thrown my belongings in a car and driven – though the last time René and I moved within Houston, we had...

Read more
30 Dec, 2015

exploring los angeles…

Sehba Sarwar
30 Dec, 2015

Watts Towers; photo by Minal René, Minal and I make a trek to Watts, one of LA’s oldest neighborhoods, where we manage to catch sunset at Watts Towers (Simon Rodia, the artist who created the structure, called the work “Nuestro Pueblo”). Though the towers are lower than they appear...

Read more
29 Dec, 2015

braving the lines…

Sehba Sarwar
29 Dec, 2015

On our second day in Los Angeles, René, Minal and I wake up early, so we can get to Disneyland before a crowd builds up. However, the battle to enter the amusement park without struggle is a lost cause. We have long waits at the entrance tunnel, at the...

Read more