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take off your shoes
feel the plush rug within...
"For a displaced person, who knows that home can neither be remade here nor necessarily found back there, food can metabolize into memories that may conjure a sense of place. The fruit of the date palm tree (Tamr) evokes home for me, and perhaps for many other Iraqis..."
"The food (Biryani) is inclusive, historical, and has connections to the Old Silk Road. Regional variations have all the common elements, the cause and effects of historical trading, and colonialism in the South Asian subcontinent..."
"There was a large, square-shaped, tiled balcony on the second floor, where we could reach the top of the persimmon tree. The fruits there were usually ripe first..."
"Fig trees, those who know us will tell you, have long been regarded as sacred. Anyone who seeks refuge under a fig tree, for whatever reason, has my deepest sympathy."
- Elif Shafak, The Island of Missing Trees
"Kashmiri Chai can be enjoyed sweet or salty. For this particular banquet feast, Shahina prepares a sweet version of the beloved Chai..."
Short film, 17 minutes, 2019
Drawing upon Sufi traditions of interpreting Islamic sacred texts that celebrate love and equality, Journey to the CharBagh is a poetic and experimental exploration of queerness from a Muslim perspective.
اکیلا ہوں - تنہا نہیں
Akela hoon - tanha nahin
I am alone - not lonely
On the night of the New Moon,
I arrived at a curious tree
birthing lanterns in the shades of tea.
Hearing the stomach growling,
echoing in the night breeze,
I reached down and picked up three
Green is bitter.
As the growl quieted,
and the glow extinguished
I walked a starlit path
in search of the next night.
During the First Quarter Moon,
in the land of endless gold,
I met a scavenger
next to a carrion.
Holding different pieces in its beak,
the black crow mended the rosy remains
by tracing the outlines of the white bones.
"I can't find his feathery shadow,"
the bird cried
with a firm voice and a blurred vision.
Its dark iris reflected
the light of the universe.
After Chapter 1 and our official residency period ended in Apr, Dawat Yan Banquet will keep expanding. Please stay tuned.