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Claire Alkouatli
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Claire Alkouatli is a writer, editor and educator based in Vancouver, BC.
She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Human Learning, Development and Culture at the University of British Columbia and she recently graduated from the Islamic Teacher Education Program (University of Toronto).

Her research interests include using qualitative methods to examine human development through the teaching/learning of Islamic material and the overlap between sociocultural theory and Islamic pedagogies.

After spending several years in the Arabian Gulf, she is working on a book entitled, Caravan of Strangers: Travels through Islam. She is a consulting editor at MISSION.tv and her writings have appeared in diverse publications including the Globe and Mail, Parabola magazine, Arabian Woman (Dubai), Bangladesh Today and a Seal Press anthology called, Bare Your Soul: The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Enlightenment. Her book, Islam, which introduced Islam to a non-Muslim audience, was published by Benchmark Books in 2006.

From 1998 to 2002, Claire was the Executive Editor at Blue magazine, an adventure travel magazine based in New York City (www.bluemagazine.com). During her time atBlue, the magazine won several awards including Life Magazine’s Best Photos of the Year Award (2000) and FOLIO’s Editorial Excellence in the Travel Category award (2001).

Travel is what initially brought Claire to Islam. Resonating with the words of the Sufi saint Jalaludin Rumi, “The spirit teaches the body to travel,” she roamed the Muslim world for many years, including Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Oman and Bangladesh, before accepting Islam under the guidance of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in November 2001.

During six years living in Saudi Arabia, she created one of the world's first mother and child playgroups in an Islamic context and, along with four Saudi women, grew this playgroup into Enchanted Garden Enrichment Center, an extracurricular activity center aimed at holistic child development that nurtures hundreds of children every year.

Building upon this experience, and informed by her research into human development, learning and culture, Claire is currently designing a play/performance-based enrichment program for Muslim children.

Claire is married to Syrian Creative Director, Saadi Alkou@alkouatliatli, and they have three young children.

Entries by Claire Alkouatli

Being Muslim Now: Part 1, Representation

(1) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 2:45 PM

Story #1: The Questioner
I'm inline skating down the road in Vancouver when a young man flags me down. "Hey! Hey!" he calls. "Are you an Islam person?"
I hit the breaks, skate over to the side of the road and reply, "Yes, I am a Muslim....

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Tools in Crafting our Best Muslim Selves: Some Reflections on Islamic Education in a Global Age

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 11:39 AM

Recent sensational headlines involving Muslim extremists--and the actions of the extremists themselves--have contributed to challenges facing Muslim educators, as well as obscured the important work that these educators are doing the world over.

Across North America, specifically, Muslim educational institutions are blossoming, offering a variety of accredited...

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A Message to Medina, the Beginning of Giving Back

(18) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 6:32 PM

Dear Prophet Muhammad,

Why do I love you? And why would you have ever loved me?

Yesterday, someone asked why I love you and I think the questioner regretted his question. I could never have given him a short answer. So, instead, I tried different elaborations that didn't satisfy either...

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Balance at the Heart of Islam: A Message From Medina in Light of Benghazi

(42) Comments | Posted September 16, 2012 | 10:22 AM

Balance was the first thing that attracted me, a decade ago, to the Islamic deen--the comprehensive spiritual and practical life system of Islam. Balance between worldly structure and beautiful essence.

When you step into the Prophet Muhammad's mosque in Medina--at the heart of the Islamic world, shoulder to shoulder...

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Traveling Through A World Of Ideas

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 7:00 AM

The most exciting and challenging travel of all is holistic travel, exploring the world of ideas in theory and in context. The new website that just launched, MISSION.tv, encourages us to do both and gain exposure to new ideas on the site.

Ideas have long been the...

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What Is Your All?

(3) Comments | Posted December 28, 2011 | 1:49 PM

It was cold at 6 a.m. on a wintery New York morning. I shivered as I entered the yoga shala and started up the wooden staircase. As my feet beat a rhythm on the stairs, my heart was yearning for that sense of body-mind-spirit connection my ashtanga practice gave me,...

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