8th grade Graduation Party

Let us thank Allah and then thank the people who deserve thanks for a wonderful event, just before Ramadan.


ARA PTO, ARA 1st grade instructor, the Eloudi family, the Furwan family, Br. Abdi Hasan of Buffalo, the ARA board president, and those who prepared food, setup and transportation for this function. May Allah bless you all. Aameeen.

And to our students, those who took the time to get dressed on a weekend afternoon to come back to school (?!), I hope we made it worthwhile. May Allah protect you my younger brothers. CONGRATULATIONS!








Braces and Retainer Week becomes Courage Week for ARA 6th & 7th grades’ class (part 2)

So as the week goes along, I am in full solidarity by wearing my retainer with the lone student who wears a full set of braces. Now, unlike braces, retainers come in a set of two, top and bottom and are removable. Wearing the bottoms was normally what I did. But things changed when I added the tops.

Similar to braces, retainers will slur one’s speech. And that’s exactly what happened mid-week. As I attempted to speak students stared in shock as I physically struggled to pronounce every word. But that wasn’t the grand shock.

I looked up once during my struggles to find one student leaning over in full-on laughter. It was none other than the lone student. No? Yes. I said, “Ixmaa, you bedda not be waughing at me?” It was comical and no feelings were hurt. It was probably the lesson of the day. He was able to realize that there can be something funny about hearing altered speech, but it is not polite to laugh aloud. And his classmates were able to see that it is not the lone student who has the problem inherently but rather it is the device in his mouth that’s causing his slur.


An Art Teacher’s Confession

Let me just say right here, ok, I haven’t studied art formally, professionally. Wait a minute, I studied architecture in high school and at the university level…but that’s not art. Not artsy art anyway. So I am learning as I go along, but one of the most fascinating things I have learned about art is that it is highly engaging. One day after my 8th graders were looking like they were ready to storm the royal palace, I reached for the art book to begin our new unit: 3D art. And sara7atan (honestly) they were all in. Smiles replaced frowns, motion  replaced being motionless, lackadaisical was replaced with fantastical…I mean look at some of these Picasso-inspired works of art:

Moral of the story: let creativity chase away lethargy. And whatever you create be joyful and grateful…and praiseful to Him worthy of praise, the best of all creators.

“And We have created the human being out of an extract of clay (water and earth). Thereafter We made him (or her) as a fluid (and lodged it) in a safe place. Then We made the fluid into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators.”

(Sura Mu’mineen, aayaat 12 -14)