RITUAL AND RESETTLEMENT An Iraqi Shi‘i Refugee Family and the Making of a Community in Quincy KUFA REVIEW: No.2 - Issue 2 - Spring 2013

Heidemarie l Woelfe


“Forget Quincy!” For Ahmed and Zainab, the “Islamic Center” in Quincy, Massachusetts is not theirs. When I asked Zainab what she and Ahmed call it, she said “The Lebanese call it the Markez al-Islami, and we call it al-jam‘a (mosque).” Cynically, Ahmed said that “the Center is for parties! You can rent it out for any party you want!” While he immediately said that he was only joking, he made his point. He does not feel that many of the predominantly Lebanese members of this Shi‘i community are “good” Muslims, living piously enough outside as well as inside the Center. He was referring to some mixed-gender events where he used an example of Lebanese men and women dancing together. He and his family do not feel that they are part of a religious community that resembles the one they knew in Baghdad


History; Education;Humanities

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