One Month Later (from the POP Newsletter sent out on April 15 2019)

This newsletter is going out on the one month anniversary of the Christchurch terror attack. I had just started settling into my new community on the South Island when the tragedy unfolded. It left me numb. It's taken me a month to process.

As someone who's lived in the Middle East, studied its culture and politics, as well as reported extensively to "humanise" the Muslim community in the US, I was buoyed by what I observed after I moved to New Zealand. Friends of mine helping Syrian women learn to drive in Wellington. Neighbors helping collect donations for refugee families. At the Happiness Idea, we did a radio show on a local Muslim who started inviting strangers into his own home for "Coffee, Cake and Islam?" conversations.

I simply had a hard time believing what had happened when I heard the news about Christchurch. Though I wasn't naive enough to think it couldn't happen here, I lived in hope that it wouldn't. However, when I received...

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