A sister comes up to me, says "SALAMS!" and gives me a big hug. I smile and hug her back. As we pull away I look at her face.
"We've met before, haven't we?"
"Yes, at the Gainseville Conference, and East Zone! You're the very enthusiastic MSA sister! And now you're President!"
I laugh and say, "So, tell me about your MSA."
Walking with my friend at a banquet, a sister walks past me with a plate of food. She stops suddenly, turns around and says, "ALIM!!"
I turn slowly, grab her outstretched hand and say "ALIM!"
"Alim?" my friend says, "Your name is Asma."
But we are already deep in conversation, reminiscing about our summer at the American Learning Institute for Muslims in Michigan.
The automatic doors slide open to reveal a seven year old hijabi standing in the lobby with her backpack. As I walk towards the leasing office she says Salams and tells me her name.
"Do you live here?" I ask.
"Yes" she says quietly.
"Do you like it?"
"No, it costs too much money. We're moving."
As the realtor quoted me the price, she couldn't quite understand why I laughed. All I could picture was a father telling his seven year old they were moving because the apartment was too much money.