I am humbled and inspired by my surroundings. Not just the history, immensity, and diversity of New York City, but more importantly, the Muslims I am meeting here. The conference is full of energy and warmth.
I am a little “starstruck” with all of the big Muslim names that are wandering around. But more than these passing celebrities are the people I am getting to know. I have met and spoken with some of the most intelligent, inspiring, and just-plain-wonderful people, from all over the world. These people work hard at being good parents, being good friends, being good lawyers, doctors, artists, journalists, you-name-its.I will shamelessly name drop after I’ve had a chance to digest this conference (as well as write out any critiques), but for now, my heart is filled with the beauty of friendship and a kind of familial warmth that doesn’t usually come easily after only a few hours of knowing each other.
I also learned tonight, in the cab ride home, that Bea Arthur has died at the age of 86. I bring this up not only because I grew up watching The Golden Girls, but because she was one of my first feminist role models from television. Her work on Maude and The Golden Girls helped make take-no-crap femininity part of my idea of womanhood, and though she leaves plenty of no-guff sisters behind, her death definitely leaves a gap. May God keep her.