First blog post

Hello! Welcome to Lifting Shadows. I have been envisioning or planning to create a blog for some time where educators, students or any reader can find information regarding Islam, Muslim-Americans, Xenophobia, Immigration, Refugees, International Relations, Cultures, Beliefs, Inclusion and Equity. I plan to blog about these topics and post informative educational resources for teachers and students who wish to enrich their understanding of these topics.

Last Spring, as I was driving to work and listening to music, my favorite hip hop artist released a new album titled Alwasta. Wasta is an Arabic term that roughly translates to “who you know” in English.  Ali Mohammed is a phenomenal hip hop artist who goes by the stage name of Oddisee. As Oddisee and his band toured Europe in early 2016, he watched as the refugees continued arriving in the various European capital cities where he performed. His song, Lifting Shadows, track 4 on Alwasta, is a dedication and a tribute to these refugees. I could not stop listening to this song for days. a2910967316_16 I believe that Oddisee has a gift in creating artistic thoughts based off of his observations and life experience as a Muslim-American, and transforming them into music. The song Lifting Shadows reminded me that we are all connected. Although many of us have read about the refugee crisis, perhaps we can begin to read stories from the actual refugees and begin reading blogs, Tweets and narratives from refugees so that they do not remain nearly a number.

Feel free to subscribe to my blog, browse the posts, gather references for a Social Studies lesson, brainstorm curriculum for your classroom or read the news articles that I will be posting.

*Interested in purchasing Oddisee’s albums, please go to or iTunes.


5 thoughts on “First blog post

  1. Jami, this is fantastic! The name of your blog is really inspiring and I now have a new artist to look up and add to my playlist 😉

    I really like your goals for this blog. Have you done much through social media yet that look into your topics of interest?


    • Hi Jayme! Thank you for visiting my blog and reading. I am slowly beginning to network through Twitter and eventually more through WordPress reader. I am just getting started but I have already come across some remarkable online magazines, writers, activists, educators, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I want to expand my musical spectrum, and as a fairly in-touch hip-hop head what tracks in particular would you suggest I start listening to?


    • Hi Nathan! I do not have a ton of advice. I have a friend who knows alternative or underground hip hop like no other. Usually when I see him, I ask, hey what are you listening too? Here are the artist that I cannot live without: Oddisee, Atmosphere, Tribe Called Quest (their last album We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your service is amazing), The Roots, Talib Kweli, Murs, The Procussions and if you appreciate French hip hop MC Solaar, Stromae, Saian Supa Crew and Abd al Malik). These are just dipping into my library. I often find myself just typing in my favorite artist on Spotify or Pandora and then I hear new songs and artists. Very fun! Thanks for reading. Oddisee is truly one of a kind because apart from having great lyrics, the band that plays with him are amazing musicians who incorporate jazz, and great instrumentals.


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