Moondragon in the Mosque Garden

Tajalli, Mujtaba, and Aasiya just want a break from adult conversations. They go to check out the old garden in their new mosque building, and end up making a new friend and learning an important lesson about caring for the earth (Source).

Author(s): El-Farouk Khaki, Troy Jackson, &  Katie Commodore

El-Farouk Khaki is a refugee and immigration lawyer. His practice primarily involves representing women fleeing gender violence, LGBTQI People fleeing persecution because of their sexual orientation and or gender identity, as well as people fleeing persecution because of their HIV status. A human rights and social justice advocate, his leadership has been recognized by the awards he has received including: 2006 “Excellence in Spirituality” Award – Pride Toronto; 2007 Hero Award, Canadian Bar Association The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference; 2007 Steinert & Ferreiro Award from the Lesbian & Gay Community Appeal. In 2009, in addition to being the Grand Marshall for the 2009 Toronto Pride Parade, he was also the recipient of the “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop”, Pride Toronto Theme Award. In 2008, he ran for Canadian Federal Parliament in two elections for the New Democratic Party of Canada. El-Farouk is the founder of Salaam: Queer Muslim community, an organization he originally started in 1991. In May 2009, he co-founded the el-Tawhid Juma Circle with his partner Troy Jackson and dear friend, Dr. Laury Silvers. He is also co-founder of Canadian Muslim Union of which he is Secretary General, as well as co-Founder of the Muslim AIDS Project. El-Farouk has set on many boards and is a public speaker on Islam, the Immigration and Refugee system, human rights, racism, politics and HIV/AIDS (Source).

Troy Jackson is a Black Nova Scotian, father, husband, Muslim, writer, performer and clothing designer based in Toronto. Troy’s work has shown at TIFF/Toronto International Film Festival, Inside Out Film Festival and at the Art Gallery of Ontario respectively. Jackson is also co-founder of the El-Tawhid Juma Circle Unity Mosque, a gender-equal, and LGBTQ2IS affirming Islamic Mosque founded in 2009 (Source).

Katie Commodore’s parents could have told you when she was a toddler that she would grow up to be an artist, despite years of her insisting that she was going to be an astronaut and them sending her to Space Camp twice. Never giving up her dreams of painting Martian landscapes and testing low gravity pastels, she went to art school, which surprisingly lacked the rigorous science background NASA required. Katie attended the Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, graduating with a BFA in Illustration.  After time spent abroad, in locales including Florence, Paris, Prague, Greece, plus a short stint in Las Vegas that is better left unspoken about, Katie returned to school, attending the Rhode Island School of Design, and earning her MFA in Printmaking. After 14 years in Brooklyn, she returned to Providence to reside, and is now Adjunct Faculty at her alma mater and Clark University. As any artist would appreciate, making art is seldom a full-time profession one gets paid well for. Katie’s professional career includes working as a Studio Manager and Artist/Personal Assistant for Maya Lin, the designer of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC.  She has also worked at several museums, including the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Connecticut, was a Majordomo for a Boutique PR Firm in NYC, and as the Administrative Director of Crux LCA, a cooperative of Black XR Creatives and Producers that focuses on Black storytelling and creating a foothold in the burgeoning vocabulary of new media of VR and creating Black wealth. Currently she is working as the Personal Assistant to her childhood heroine. If you meet her, be sure to ask her about it. It’ll make your day (Source).

Excerpt from “Moondragon in the Mosque Garden” (Source).
Excerpt from “Moondragon in the Mosque Garden” (Source).

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