Author Archives: jdenari

About jdenari

Student at Georgetown University writing about religion, politics, and culture, particularly about Muslim/Christian relations in post 9/11 America.

Why I cried in Arabic class

I don’t know what exactly brought tears to my eyes, but the combination of the beautiful culture and its tragic loss; the foreign sound of bombs and the familiar sound of Shami Arabic; and the human goodness that somehow persists in the midst of evil made a lump rise in my throat. I looked over and noticed that my teacher was fighting back tears, too.
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Posted in Arabic, Catholicism, Christianity, Family, Islam, Jesuit/Ignatian, Middle East, News, Religion, Saints, Terrorism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Standing with the Savior

Today is the anniversary of the death of Oscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador who was shot and killed while saying Mass on March 24, 1980. How fitting that today’s Gospel reading, one of my favorites from Luke, is paired with the feast of Romero, who stood with the poor and marginalized even when it was unpopular and dangerous to do so. Continue reading

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Diet Advice from the Caliph

The walls of the priest’s office were lined with black-and-white photographs of his father donning a checkered Jordanian kufiyyeh and his little sister wearing her white First Communion dress. Newer pictures of Jordan’s king, Abdullah II, Roman Catholic bishops of … Continue reading

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Posted in Arabic, Catholicism, Christianity, Islam, Jordan in Jordan, Middle East, Religion, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The $200,000 Conversation

Without my education at Georgetown, I could never have dreamed to have such a meaningful, deep, and heady conversation. Continue reading

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Posted in Catholicism, Christianity, Islam, Jordan in Jordan, Middle East, Religion, Saints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Poem: “Bethel”

In short, the message of this poem is an elaboration of Jacob’s exclamation in Genesis 28:16: “Truly, the Lord is in this spot, although I did not know it.” Though I don’t often realize it, God is always with me. Continue reading

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Posted in Catholicism, Christianity, Islam, Poetry, Religion, Saints, Storytelling, Washington, D.C. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Way, the Truth, and the Life: An exchange with a reader

Earlier this week, a reader posted the following comment on my blog. I wanted to share my response (and the potential exchange that may ensue) with the rest of my readers. Stay tuned to see if the discussion expands–I hope … Continue reading

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‘In our time’: Francis moves beyond Nostra Aetate

In his familiar style, Pope Francis smartly roots his commentary on Islam in the tradition of the Church and his predecessors, while at the same time forges new theological territory. Continue reading

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Posted in Catholicism, Christianity, Islam, Islamophobia, Pope Francis, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More in Heaven: Wisdom from Julian of Norwich

Julian’s revelations remind us that union with God will not only occur at the end of time, when we are perfectly unified and meet him “face to face.” They also tell us that we can get a taste of that eventual full communion, right here, and right now.
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Peeling Kiwis: “Peeling Oranges” Series

October 27, 2013 This afternoon I found myself sitting on the front porch of a woman named Maggie. No, I wasn’t with my own mother on our front porch on Pennsylvania Street in Indianapolis, but it was about as close … Continue reading

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Posted in Arabic, Catholicism, Christianity, Jordan in Jordan, Middle East, Religion, Series, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why I Say ‘Allahu Akbar’: My article on Busted Halo

I’m grateful to Busted Halo, an online magazine for spiritual seekers, for publishing the following reflection. Inshallah, God willing, I will be contributing more to Busted Halo throughout the rest of the year. Start reading my article here, and continue … Continue reading

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