30 Mosques: The Ultimate Road Trip

Stand-up comedian Aman Ali and filmmaker Bassam Tariq drove across the US to visit 30 mosques in 30 states over the 30 days of Ramadan. Photo: Bassam Tariq

Stand-up Comedian Aman Ali and filmmaker Bassam Tariq, founders of the project "30 Mosques in 30 Days", will hit the road again this year during the Holy month of Ramadan.

The duo kicked off their one-month fundraising campaign this Monday, hoping to raise $10,000 to make this trip a reality.

Last year's road trip led a cross-country drive through 30 states where they broke their fast at a different mosque in a different state each night. They embarked on their 12,000 mile journey on August 11 from New York City, ending with Eid celebrations in Dearborn, Michigan.
 
“After traveling the country, we came across all these interesting stories about Muslims living in America. I always thought the impact of Muslims on American history was anecdotal, like Thomas Jefferson once meeting a Muslim and mentioning it in passing or something. But we were surprised to find out how deep the roots of Muslims are, in places like Ross, North Dakota where Muslims have been living since the 1800s. It was for that reason my friend Bassam and I decided that we have to continue this journey and go in depth even further to explore the Muslim communities in this country,” Ali told ILLUME.
 
The success of their adventure was bigger than expected with Ali and Tariq blogging about the experience each night, highlighting stories of the people they met and the mosques they prayed in.

This year, Ali and Tariq will drive through the 20 states that remain, and will go back to 10 states already visited in 2010. The project also includes flights to Alaska and Hawaii, with the hope of digging into the stories of those far away states. Over 13,000 miles of driving are planned on this trip, all the while juggling blogging, interviewing people and of course, fasting.



                                                                Hajer Naili
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Hajer Naili is a NewYork based reporter for Women’s eNews. She has worked for several radio stations and publications in France and North Africa and specializes in Middle East and North Africa.