The First YouTube for International Have a Meal with a Muslim Day (September 17, 2010)

Yesterday, Joseph, a Muslim, and I, an agnostic, sat down outside a restaurant on Lancaster Blvd. in Lancaster, California and laid out our game plan for International Have a Meal with a Muslim Day. We’ll be having coffee, and perhaps a bite to eat, at Pars, a Persian restaurant in Palmdale, California at 5:30 pm. At least one imam will be joining us, and maybe even two or three. If you live in Northern Los Angeles County, feel free to join us. And if you’re elsewhere, consider trying a meet-up, sometime over the next week or so, with a Muslim where you live.

Also, an imam I spoke to this weekend invited me to Friday prayers at a nearby mosque at 1:30. That sounds interesting, doesn’t it? I’ve never actually stepped into a mosque before.

Another thing: a culture and arts reporter for the LA Examiner, Lacy Morris, hearing about International Have a Meal with a Muslim Day, collared me Friday evening after a local production of the play, Annie, for an interview. Her article is here. Money quote:

The end of Ramadan came this last week but hopefully the time of thought and reflection will extend to Tafarella’s “Have a Meal with a Muslim Day.” Perhaps the conversations that occur on September 17th will be the conversations that ensure open communication between different worlds and cultures. Tafarella tells me he “believe[s] that in sustained communication—a culture of honest dialogue—is the potential salvation of the world. And you only need two people and no special equipment. No track shoes. Nothing expensive. Isn’t that great? Let’s strike up conversations, not matches.”

Striking up conversations, not matches, is a bit cheesy, I admit. But we live in a soundbite age, right? If you are a reporter, have a radio show, or want to otherwise contact me, my name is Santi Tafarella and you can reach me at

Sorry for the shameless promotion, but I want to get the word out this week. If you like the idea of spontaneous citizen initiated community dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims, please share the meme around this week—and do it yourself.

Lastly, if you could ask a question of an American imam, what would it be? Put it in the thread below and maybe I’ll ask it for you Friday evening. We’ll be videoing and YouTubing Friday’s meet-up as well.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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8 Responses to The First YouTube for International Have a Meal with a Muslim Day (September 17, 2010)

  1. awesome. Well done guys. Have shared on twitter, and will add to the Facebook stuff. There’s still regular interest from various forums I post in.


  2. Cody Deitz says:

    My readership may not be all that substantial, but I’ll definitely be linking to this post. Excellent idea.

  3. Pingback: First International Have a Meal With a Muslim Day « Dionysian GENERATOR

  4. Mike says:

    Questions for an imam:

    1. What is the most important belief of a Muslim?
    2. What do Muslims believe happens after they die?
    3. What is the nature and character of God (Allah)?
    4. Who was Mohammed? What evidence is there that he speaks for God? (Why should we believe or follow Mohammed over the writer of any other book?)
    5. What is your response to the actions of the 9/11 terrorists?

    • santitafarella says:


      Thanks for the questions. Time permitting, I’ll bring them up to the imam (and hopefully video tape his answers and get them onto YouTube at some point). If he doesn’t agree to video taping, I’ll do my best to characterize his responses accurately in a future post.


  5. Joseph says:

    Santi, Here’s episode 1

    Thanks Joseph

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