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Safiyya Vankalwala

Lawyer, mom, researcher, internet junkie, music lover.

My name is Safiyya and I love to learn and share everything I learn. I am a proud mom of two young kids, but worry about raising them in this scary world. My husband, family and friends are my life lines and I would be utterly lost without them. I would like to think of myself as a young and hip lawyer, though I am neither that young or hip. I am a dreamer and realist, and a pessimist and believer in faith. My brain never shuts off and, in fact, over thinks pretty much everything.
My Growing Family Has Changed My Eid

My Growing Family Has Changed My Eid Traditions

I will miss Ramadan, but I am also ready to say goodbye until next year. The gifts for the kids are packed, henna on my hands has been applied, the house will get decorated today, and brunch food is in preparation mode. We are ready for Eid. Eid Mubarak/Happy Eid to everyone!
07/16/2015 12:50 EDT
How Ramadan Can Get

How Ramadan Can Get Lonely

I look forward to Eid, but as Eid approaches, I start to miss Ramadan. Many of my Muslim friends share the same bittersweet feeling. I am not sure if I would feel the same bittersweet feeling if I was observing Ramadan on my own, or at least not to the same extent. A partner in crime is a must.
07/13/2015 12:26 EDT
Ramadan Changes What Food Means to

Ramadan Changes What Food Means to Me

Fasting itself does not help those less fortunate. However, the person fasting has a heightened awareness of how it feels to be hungry and therefore how those less fortunate feel being hungry every day. Knowing is one thing, but experiencing is completely different.
07/06/2015 12:22 EDT
My Struggle to Dress Appropriately During

My Struggle to Dress Appropriately During Ramadan

The one aspect I constantly struggle with every Ramadan is my clothing choice. I feel that if I am fasting, I should dress closer in accordance with the Muslim dress code. But is my ultimate goal that one day I will leave Ramadan dressing more conservatively for the rest of the year? I am not sure, but maybe.
06/29/2015 12:41 EDT
How I Let My 6-Year-Old Fast During

How I Let My 6-Year-Old Fast During Ramadan

Six years ago, I could not imagine the day my son would go into grade 1, let along imagine my son asking me if he can fast. Last week, he said to me: "I want to fast with you and dad. Please, please, please!" I was silent at first, not knowing how to tell him that there is no way I am letting him fast 17 hours.
06/22/2015 05:35 EDT
10 Challenges I'll Face Every day During

10 Challenges I'll Face Every day During Ramadan

Ramadan is scheduled to commence later this week and I am not looking forward to it. The Islamic calendar is lunar based, so Ramadan shifts by approximately 10 days every year. Fasting during the winter months is easy with dawn being so late and sunset being so early. Fasting during the summer months is brutal -- dawn is currently at 3:45 a.m. and sunset is at 9 p.m.
06/16/2015 08:11 EDT