About the Podcast
If you’re like me, you’ve been struggling with how to face the facts about this astonishing political age in America… and you’re seeking tools to cope and find meaning and ways to make a difference. I’m also a seeker and my faith and worldview have been shaped by the voices of many, many different people who I call on to see how they have been able to meet a challenging moment in their own life. I have seen incredible courage in faith leaders, social justice activists, artists and politicos alike—who feel overcome in the challenge but dig deep and find a way to do something meaningful either in, or as a result, of that moment. I know firsthand and from seeing it all around me that something that looks like a breakdown can serve as the most powerful kind of breakthrough to new possibilities.
Meeting the Moment explores our capacity to dig deep and finding opportunities in life’s big challenges. Every other week, I talk to artists and activists, spiritual leaders and politicos about how they find opportunities within challenges they face — and how we can apply what they learned to meet the moments of our own lives and the non-stop crisis moment we’re all living through today.
For more than 15 years, I have been on the frontlines of crisis response serving as a leading voice from the American Muslim community. Time and again, I found myself asking, “How do we keep building while we’re putting out fires all the time?” And over and over again, I have seen ingenuity and heart at work where people are able to discover opportunities for good, for growth and even for progress because of a major challenge they face. Each time I see it, it’s like a defibrillator shaking my heart alive, energizing me to keep moving forward.
Today, I am a storyteller, strategist and trainer who works in multi-faith spaces to empower people to share their stories and expand their zones of impact. And I am an On Being Fellow, a program of the public radio program and public life project led by Krista Tippett — that was one of the inspirations for this podcast, long before there was a fellowship. (No wonder she’s my first guest!)
I like breaking through barriers and ceilings, and am proud to have been named one of Los Angeles’ 10 most inspiring women game changers and one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world. If you’re not Muslim and I look familiar, that may be because you saw me on TV, far too often in the aftermath of tragic news, debating religion, terrorism, human rights, media portrayals and Islamophobia on CNN, Fox News, NPR and BuzzFeed on behalf of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
I am also a spiritual seeker, a mama and wife, an HGTV lover, and a podcast addict who finds her grounding in kundalini yoga, hiking and my tribe of girlfriends.
How did the podcast start?
I’ve been on the frontlines of public advocacy for American Muslims for 15 years, which meant that week after week, I found myself responding to a crisis. They would happen at any time, instantly destroying whatever I was doing and consuming my life for days and sometimes weeks on end.
In these moments where I felt deeply alone in facing fights, I’ve was blessed to have been able to call on friends and colleagues who are spiritual leaders, artists and activists to ask them how they’ve been able to meet challenging moments in their personal and professional lives.
If you’re like me, you’re looking for hope and inspiration to cope with living in Trump’s America and you’re looking to find meaningful ways to make a difference in our world today. I’ve seen over and over again how the worst moments can give birth to incredible new things.
Something I’ve learned is that crisis isn’t optional but how you approach each crisis is a choice, and most people think they’re ill-equipped to meet big challenges. By hearing these stories straight from the people who lived through them, I hope that activists and do-gooders and everyday people make a choice to discover an opportunity in the many crises facing us today and owning their power in the most trying times — by adopting a crisortunity mindset, seeking the opportunity for good in the crisis.
With our current political landscape, I feel strongly that people need to hear these stories now more than ever. Impressive, changemaking leaders also face fear, doubt and uncertainty in their toughest times. So do everyday people striving to make a difference when a reality is thrust on them they do not want — whether it’s a political firestorm, media stereotypes, divorce or addiction. We all need fuel to meet the moment in our own lives.
What makes Meeting the Moment a unique podcast?
I’m an introvert who loves people, really getting to know people. I’m genuine to a fault, a team builder and I’m also tenacious. I have lived examples of what I am exploring on the podcast — responding to the “crisis of the week” ranging from terror attacks, political threats to civil rights and media stereotypes.
I’ve hit a wall over and over again, and somehow found my way out and forward. While many podcasts focus on the whole life story, I’m exploring a defining moment in a person’s story. The moment we’ve all encountered at one point or another, where you face a challenge and you have a breakdown, a break through or if you’re really lucky, both.
I hope that through this podcast, people can feel prepared to meet the moment in their own lives and seek opportunities in their challenges. I also deeply hope that people will use this knowledge and this community we create together to meet the moment currently taking place in our country, and raise their voices in creative and impactful ways.