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Keep Calm and Pray On


Yesterday I went for Isha to a Masjid that I don’t frequent much anymore, the reason why I started attending a different center is a long story for another day but I can tell you what happened at Isha.

Salah started same as usual, then about 30 seconds in a kid starts crying for his dad. His crying quickly turned into howling and yelling, this continued all throughout Salah and luckily the Imam decided to read some long Surah’s that day so Salah lasted a good 20 minutes. Now when Salah finally finished is when the fun began, right away of course people were on their feet yelling and shouting at the father of the boy and a mob started to gather around the man, they began to yell obscenities, telling him that he should’ve broken his prayer and walked away, that he shouldn’t come to the masjid if he can’t keep his kid quite along with a number of other unsavory insults. Now as it turns out the man was praying in the first row in the far most corner of the masjid making it impossible for him to make the proposed getaway, and to top it off the brother was using crutches.

Not kidding, he really was disabled.

When everyone realized the predicament he was in, a second mob started to gather in his defense. Shouting obscenities at the other side, saying, “How could you yell at a cripple!”, “Don’t you have any mercy!”, “Where are parents suppose to go if they are not welcome in the masjid!” and so on. Once the yelling reached a climax, the Imam and some elders were able to break it up and dissipate the crowd but the angriest of the mob continued arguing with each other all the way to the door. Long after the father had left the masjid I might add. Once they got outside, yelling lead to cussing which eventually lead to a shoving match. At that point you had a bunch of uncles shoving and slap-boxing each other in the parking lot and it was only a matter of time until one of the sissy fighting uncles mustered up the courage to throw a punch. Luckily the masjid admin was called in time to stop the fight from escalating.

Now through this entire ordeal I stood by and observed the situation trying to figure out what went wrong and started this chain reaction, admittedly I also laughed a little. I wondered, was the parent to blame, was it the mobs fault for yelling and shouting, was it the other mobs fault who came to the defense of the parent, or maybe it was the Imam’s fault for taking so long with Isha. I realized no one party was to blame; the parent first of all should have had more common sense. Parents have every right to bring their children to the Masjid; they should bring them to the Masjid. I have fond memories of my dad and older brother taking me for Salah when I was young and I cherish those memories, it’s important for the development of any young boy or girl. However, when you as a parent know you have a rowdy child and a disability, you should have the common sense to not get trapped in the most isolated corner of the masjid. He should have prayed towards the back where if needed he could easily get away or at the least he should have consoled his son during Salah or at the very least distracted the boy by giving him a cell phone or something. Secondly, yelling and screaming at the man right after prayer accomplished nothing besides making a few uncles feel better. By causing that scene they wiped away any good they did by coming to the masjid, completely destroyed the sanctity of the masjid they were so angrily defending and effectively drove that man and his son away from the masjid. Lastly, if your going to jump in to defend the parent, then shouting, cussing and getting into fights with the opposing mob isn’t a solution. What would have been helpful is to calmly explain everything and deescalate the situation. Instead, they dropped down to the level of their opponents and turned a verbal argument into a physical fight.

It boils down to this much; this situation could’ve been avoided with a little bit of patience and common sense. I think that’s really at the core of the issue. So take head from this cautionary tale and in the future, keep calm and pray on.

PhotoBlog: Running the Turkey Trot

This Thanksgiving I ran in the 8 mile Turkey Trot in downtown Dallas with my brother-in-law Faisal. I took a bunch of photos along the way of some funny and scenic moments.




Taking stupid posses in our running gear.

This guy is taking the race really seriously

Guys getting ready to run in formal wear

Guy wearing an adult onesie

Some shots of the huge crowd right before the start of the race.

The announcer and Texas Rangers mascot cheering people on as the race begins

About to cross the start point

Local news networks filming the start of the race with cranes

Soldiers running the race in uniform

Local residents watching the race from their balconies

First time I’ve never had to adhere to traffic laws

Friends and family cheering people on from the side

Local stores giving out free beads

A dog wearing a tutu

2nd mile marker

Cops redirecting traffic from the blocked routes for the race

Guy running the race on a unicycle

Great shot of the downtown skyline

People dressed as pilgrims

More encouraging signs

Folks dressed as turkeys

 Real southern entertainment stations setup throughout the race

Cars parked on sidewalks

More turkeys

Wide shot of Downtown Dallas skyline

The Texas flag flys at the same height as the American flag, only in the Lone Star State.

Medics treating injured runners

photographers taking pictures of runners

Crossing the finish line!

This was a great experience. While it was hard it was very satisfying Alhamdulilah and definitely worth it.

Dubstep Power Tools

There is no denying the creativity and skill of MysteryGuitarMan. Below is his latest video where he does audio loops of power tools to create a great dubstep track, enjoy :)

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Video Game High School

VGHS is a web series created by Freddie Wong (FreddieW), Brandon Laatsch, and Matt Arnold. It revolves around a young man in the near future when gaming is the worlds biggest professional sport who gets to attend VGHS.

Its a great series because Freddie and Brandon always do great work, check out their YouTube Channel but whats more unique is how they got funding for the project. They started a kickstarter and raised $273,725 to date. WOW!

Whats really interesting is that this is becoming a trend with independent film and video game projects, creators are going directly to fans instead of having to go through a major production company. This allows for more creativity and versatility on the part of the creator and is opening doors for people who haven’t made it in the “industry”.

Watch the trailer below and then click the link below to visit their website and watch the first episode. I would also checkout the kickstarter page, it has some great stuff and might just inspire you to start your own project.

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Watch Episode 1

Visit the KickStarter Page

SourceFed addresses the KickStarter phenomenon in the video below:

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Video Puzzle by MysteryGuitarMan

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A really cool video concept by one of my favorite YouTubers, MysteryGuitarMan (Joe Penna). In case you don’t know, Joe is a visual effects artist in SoCal who’s worked with major brands like McDonalds on ad campaigns and has been making YouTube videos for years and is one of the top 10 most subscribed channels.

Above is a recent video he made that just blew me away, its a simple video but was presented in a really cool way by splitting it into 4 pieces and showing it on 4 different constantly moving iPhones like a puzzle.

Check out his main channel:

Second Channel (Behind the scenes and vlogs):



Slingshot: New Kickstarter for Mobile Phone Video

I donated to this Kickstarter and ordered myself one because I think its a really great tool and stands out from the rest for a number of reasons.

  1. It serves as both a steadicam and mini tripod
  2. It unscrews giving you the ability to attach your mobile phone to a standard tripod
  3. It has a flexible build and will fit any phone

For me number 3 is a big deal because most tripod mounts out there are normally made specifically for the iPhone and cant fit other phones, now you might wonder, why is that a problem for you since you have an iPhone, well the issue is Apple changes the body of their phone every few years and I am tired of buying new accessories for each phone. Also for $14 this thing is a great deal.

Check it out on Kickstarter, they have a lot of material explaining the build, how it can fit a variety of phones and all the other features.

Google Makes Driving Easier

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Google’s self driving car program has completed over 200,000 miles so they shot this special video taking a blind man on a ride to Taco Bell to showcase its potential. The program has been active since 2010, they are actively using the technology for Google Maps and are doing amazing research to be able to make this a reality for the public.

PC Mag’s Article:

Blind Driver’s Trip in Google’s Self-Driving Car Was Legal

This article elaborates on the programs and has statements from the police department that aided in the test drive and from the California Highway Patrol

SourceFed Coverage:

Also here is SourceFed’s coverage of it. SourceFed is a great news source on YouTube that was established by Philip DeFranco, they are new on the block but doing really well, I recommend you check them out.

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Transformers VFX Reel from Digital Domain

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Digital domain has a great breakdown for some of the VFX for Transformers 3. It shows step by step how real footage was manipulated and merged with VFX and overlaid with 3D animation. Its very interesting and insightful for editors/motion graphics people because it shows how the methods used are the same ones we know, just on a HUGE scale. For others its also very entertaining. Also if you browse their website you will find many amazing reels and finished work that will surely inspire you!

Via VideoCopilot.Net

Google Current – New App for Android & iOS

In case you didn’t know, Google released a new free App/Service called Google Current for Android and iOS. Its a news app that will show you articles from hundreds of publications in a uniform interface making it really easy to read. I have been using the app for 2 days and I’ll probably be doing most of my reading from the app from now on. Also its good to see Google succed at something after some recent flops (cough – Buzz and Google+ – cough).

Watch the video to get some details.

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Knoxville Vlogs Series

I recently went to Knoxville, TN with my family to visit a friend, AbdelRahman Murphy who is the new Youth Director for the Muslim Community of Knoxville. Below is the vlog series I filmed while there. I vlogged our daily activities along with some previews of the lectures I will be posting soon on Salam Studios. Enjoy!

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