Burying a loved one is never easy. But for Muslims New Yorkers, the price of land, gentrification, and ritual practices complicates an already difficult process. As a result, most Muslims in the 5 boroughs tend to be buried hours away from their homes, at cemeteries in Long Island or New Jersey. With the death rate in NYC soaring due to COVID-19, Muslim funeral homes have borne the burden of a crisis that developed long before quarantine. How does one grapple with saying goodbye to our loved ones when burial is less than ideal?
To answer these questions, we speak to housing policy expert Lena Afridi about losing and burying her father over a year ago. Then, Imam Khalid Latif of ICNYU shares some of the pressures that funeral homes in New York are facing during the COVID-19 crisis.
M Train releases bi-weekly and each episode focuses on New York City metro area and the stories of American Muslims that can be found on and off the subway.
Donate to ICNYU’s Coronavirus Financial Hardship Grants: https://www.launchgood.com/project/coronavirus_emergency_response_financial_hardship_grants#!/
Read Lena’s Article: “Death and Life in Great American Cities”: https://thenewinquiry.com/death-and-life-in-great-american-cities/
Find ICNYU’s Virtual Ramadan Programming here: https://icnyu.org/
Please consider signing up with the National Bone Marrow Registry, especially if you are from an underrepresented group. Sign up here: https://bethematch.org/
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This miniseries was made with the generous help of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts Building Bridges Program. You can learn about their mission here: https://www.ddcf.org/what-we-fund/building-bridges/
This episode featured music composed by Myra Al-Rahim and from Freesound.
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