Call To Prayer

Nueces Mosque in Austin, Texas. 9:30pm community Call to Prayer. Asking for permission to photograph the intricacies of a life is a humbling practice in rejection. After receiving 'no' upon No upon NO, I finally stumbled into a small mosque located in a modest house on a residential street, and asked just one question: "May I come inside and photograph your members at prayer?". I was met with an immediate acceptance and openness, and welcomed inside without hesitation nor a need to explain myself further. I was given a place of honor and an opportunity to witness many extremely intimate moments, all in the spirit of sharing. I was so very moved by the bright eyes, dedication and earnestness of Nueces Mosque's members; each and every person wanted to answer all of my questions. Engaging in open, straight-forward and difficult conversations about God, responsibility, path and perceptions, my faith in the magic of our human experience has been restored. To my Muslim-American brothers and sisters, as well as every single person who has ever been made to feel 'less than', sad or terrified in their own neighborhood: I see you and I am grateful for your presence and rich contributions to our community and our homes and our future. Please keep your doors open. YOU are an integral part of what makes America great.

*Produced in part with the Magnum Photos workshop series, under the mentorship of Photographer Matt Black, and the University of Texas at Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas. (May 10, 2016)