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The Azaan in Bed-Stuy

March 10, 2010

The muslim call to prayer – the azaan – was a big part of my childhood. There was a mosque right around the corner from my house, and every morning the soulful strains of the azan woke me up in time for school. I would hear it again when I walked back home in the evening.

Hearing the azaan again while picking up groceries on Nostrand Avenue brought on a knot of homesickness in the pit of my stomach. I followed the call to its source: the Masjid At-Taqwa at Nostrand and Bedford Avenues. As a large group of Bangladeshi men streamed out of the mosque, smiling and chatting with each other, something felt right with the world.

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